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fieprinted from plates of the Tenth Australian Edition, 1897. 


Orange Society 





69 SouTHWARK Bridge Road, S.E. 




Preface to the First Edition* 

For several years past a distincftively forward movement has 
been manifest among the Orange lodges in the colony of 
Vicfloria. Certain phases of this movement — such as, for 
instance, the attitude of the brethren towards the Party 
Processions A6t, the undisguised spread of the association in 
pra(5tical]y every Department of the State, and the increased 
bitterness and publicity of their attacks on a large secftion of 
their fellow-citizens — have had the effecft of focussing public 
attention more closely on the society than, perhaps, at any 
previous period of its local history since 1846. The interest in 
the proceedings of the lodges received a notable fillip through 
the publication of certain matters which were brought to light 
during the sittings of the Melbourne Post Office Inquiry 
Board in 1896. The main features of the evidence in point 
— which go to indicate a menacing condition of things for one 
portion of the population of the colony — are given as follow in 
the Minutes of Evidence taken by the Board^ : 

A letter, penned some eighteen months previously, in the 
handwriting of a line-repairer named William Taylor, had 
fallen into the hands of the Departmental police.'- It charged 
a trustworthy^ public servant, cable-jointer James Sullivan (a 
Catholic), with having stolen a quantity of kauri pine, the 
property of the Department.'' The letter was produced at the 
Board's sitting of July i, 1896.^ Its appearance in the Age 
report of the following morning was the first intimation 
received by Sullivan regarding the charges which had been 
made against him." At the opening of the sitting of the same 
day, Mr. Maxwell, who appeared to assist the Board, brought 
forward, with the sandlion of its members, the evidence of 
James Sullivan and two others to show that the statements 
contained in the letter were wholly devoid of foundation.' 

iJhe official Minutes are now (fourth edition) substituted for the Agi 
report, which appeared in previous editions. 
"^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 845. 
»Ibid., Q. 591. 
*^Ibid., Qq. 827 sqq. 

sibid.. Qq. 595-596. 605. 1 O O i\ 
^Ibid., Q. 836. .1 O O U 

Tbid., Qq. 826 sqq. 



Departmental Detedtive White (a Protestant witness) testified 
that he had investigated the charge, and had failed to find a 
scrap of evidence to support it/ 

The history of the letter was next told by line-repairer 
William Taylor, who was examined by Mr. Maxwell. 

" 852. Do you know to whom you sent this letter ? — I did 
not send it to anybody that I am aware of. I copied it for 
another party who had written it. He thought I was a better 
writer than he, so got me to copy it." He named a fellow- 
employe who lived near him, and who, said the witness, 
" asked me to come into his house'' and " to write this out for 

" 855. Was it to injure cable-jointer Sullivan ? — He said 
he was going to take it to the W^orshipful the Master of the 
Orange lodge, to see if they could not fix up Sullivan, as he was 
a Catliolic. I may mention at that time I was an Orangeman 

myself. L [naming the person referred to in Q, 852] 

induced me to join ; and I thought at the time, by the way he 
laid it before me, it was a chance to bring Protestanism 
forward. / soon found out it was only to keep down Catholics" 

The witness then mentioned the name of a public official, 
Mr. McLeod, " Worshipful Master " of the Queen's Own 
lodge, ^° Melbourne, and expressed his belief that the letter in 
question had come into his possession. At the time he copied 
the letter, the witness believed the statements contained in it ; 
but, said he, "to the best of my belief at the present time, 
that which was done and said there in respecfl: to Sullivan v.-as 
unfounded, because I have found that other statements regard- 
ing Sullivan were untrue."" 

He added that a considerable number of Orangemen in his 
Branch — several of whom he named — had made statements 
prejudicial to their Catholic fellow-employes.^- 

Further light was thrown upon the letter against James 
Sullivan by the unwillingly made admissions of another Orange 
witness, and still more by his frequent and mysterious lapses 
of memory and his tell-tale disinclination or downright refusal 
to give any evidence regarding lodge proceedings touching the 
charges mentioned above. Apart from its bearing on the case 
at issue, his condudT: under examination is interesting for two 
reasons : {a) because it furnishes evidence of the iron grip in 

^Ibid., Qq. 845-849. 

^Ibld., and Q. 853. 

i°The Queen's Own lodge is understood to be composed altogether 
of Public Servants. In a speech reported in the Victorian Standard, in 
1896, its chaplain claimed that it is the largest Orange lodge in the world 

■^■^Ibid., Q. 860. 

i2/6?W., Qq. S61-874, 891. 



which Orangemen are held by their oath or solemn protesta- 
tion of secrecy ; (b) because our witness's hedging, memory- 
paralysis, and defiance of the Board of Inquiry, are thoroughly 
typical of the attitude of " loyal " Orangemen all over the 
world Avhen questioned as to the " proceedings of the brethren 
in lodge assembled." The following extracfts are from the Blue 
Book containing the Minutes of Evidence taken by the Board on 
July 2, 1896. The witness was examined by Mr. Maxwell: 

" 1 121. Are you an Orangeman ? — Am I what ? I don't 
think that is a proper question to ask . . . 

" 1 164. Were you never up before the Worshipful 
Master at an Orange lodge in connection with the matters 
referred to in that letter ? — I don't think I should be asked 
such a question. It is foreign to the subjedt altogether. 

" 1 1 65. It has been ruled by the Board that this is a 
very important matter, and the questions must be answered ? 
— I did not see in the press that cable-jointer Sullivan was 
asked if he were an Orangeman. 

" 1165A. The Chairman. — You must answer the question, 

" 1 166. By Mr. Maxwell. — Were you up before the 
Worshipful Master of any Orange lodge in reference to the 
matters referred to in this letter ? — [Witness did not answer.] 

" 1 167. By the Board. — You are not ashamed of being an 
Orangeman ? — Of course not. 

" 1 168. By Mr. Maxwell.— I suppose there is nothing to 
be ashamed of in connection with anything done in the lodge 
in reference to that letter ? — [Witness did not ansu'er.] 

" ii6g. Please answer my question before I ask the Board 
to deal with you. Have you ever been up before the Worship- 
ful Master of any Orange lodge in connecftion with that letter ? 
— / have attended a meeting of the lodge ivhen subjeds of that nature 
were brought before them. 

" 1 170. That is not my question. Were you ever up 
before the Worshipful Master of any Orange lodge when the 
specific matters mentioned in this letter were under discussion, 
and received consideration ? — I cannot bring that to memory. 

"1171. Then why did you take so long to answer? — 
[Witness did not ansii^er.] 

After some further distressing lapses of memory, the wit- 
ness was asked : 

"1176. Will you swear that you never were at a meet- 
ing presided over by Mr, McLeod when this letter received 
consideration ? — I cannot bring it to memory. 

" 1 177. Well, read it again — [Witness did so] — Now, did 


you ever hear the matters referred to in this letter before ? — 
What ? The persons referred to ? 

" 1181. What do you mean when you stated that you had 
been at a meeting when subjecfts of this nature came up ; what 
do you refer to ? — There are lots of matters that came up that I 
would not tell you or anybody else here about. 

" 1 1 83. I want to know still what you meant when you 
stated you have been at meetings when subjecfls of a similar 
chara(51:er have been under consideration ? — I cannot bring 
them to memory just now. 

" 1 184. Did you ever hear that such charges had been 
made against cable-jointer Sullivan ? — I cannot go into 
that. . . . 

" 1 187. Is Sullivan a friend of yours? — No, I would not 
like him to be a friend of mine. . . , 

" iig6. Did you ever hear of the existence of this letter 
before you saw it in the Age yesterday ? — I cannot remember 

" 1 197. Well, will you take a little time to think over it ? 
— [After hesitation] — I cannot remember. 

" 1198. Will you try again? — No, I cannot remember." 

The witness's memory gave way with equal hopelessness 
over several further questions on the same subjedl:. Mr. 
Maxwell continued : 

"1204. That won't do. I want an answer to my ques- 
tion ? — [Witness did not answer.] 

" 1205. The Chairmaii. — You must not trifle with the 
Board in this manner. You must answer the question at once. 
Yes or no, [Witness did not answer] ." 

His memory continued to fail with dismal regularity 
through a number of succeeding questions. 

" 1 214. By the Board. — But you have been at a meeting 
when these matters were referred to, and forgotten the circum- 
stances ? — It would be possible, I suppose. 

" 12 1 5. By Mr. Maxwell. — Do you consider that the 
charges made against Sullivan in this matter were of a most 
serious charadlier ? — Yes. 

" 12 16. Then do you think if these matters had been 
brought before the lodge you would be likely to forget the 
fadl:, especially considering they had reference to your Depart- 
ment ? — It is likely I might forget." 

His memory was eclipsed through several questions that 

" 1224. Then you swear you had nothing to do with the 
formulating of these charges against Sullivan ? — I don't 
remember anything about that. 


" 1225. Will you swear that you did not? — I could not 
say anything about it. . . . 

"1229. [By Mr. Mackey]}^ — Now, in answer to my 
learned friend, you state that some similar matters to that 
letter have been considered in the ordinary course of lodge 
proceedings, so that you may have forgotten this particular 
one ? — I think they did. I don't recoiled^ that one. . . . 

" The Chaii'man. — The Board wishes to give its opinion on 
your condudl and demeanour in giving your evidence here to- 
day. It was most unsatisfactory, and you have done yourself 
and any friends you wish to protedt, a great deal of harm. 
You have not answered the questions direcftly or straight- 
forwardly, and it is most unsatisfacftory." 

No denial or disclaimer of this evidence has, up to the date 
of this publication, appeared in the Melbourne daily press 
from the officers or other members of the lodge referred to. 
No reference has been made to the matter in the official Report 
of the Post Office Inquiry Board, presented to both Houses of 
Parliament, December 11, i8g6. No adtion in regard to the 
statements elicited has been taken by the Crown law autho- 
rities. The incident is apparently closed. The apathy of 
Government in the matter has increased the sense of insecurity 
which Catholic officials and employes in every Department of 
the State had already felt by reason of such secret attacks as, 
according to the evidence of one of the witnesses, have been 
repeatedly levelled against James Sullivan and others of his 
fellow-workers in the Post and Telegraph Service of the 

The publication of the evidence elicited by the Post Office 
Inquiry Board led to the appearance of portions of some of the 
following chapters in the columns of the Melbourne Advocate 
of July 10, 1896, and following dates. It has been deemed 
desirable to place the fadfs therein contained in a form more 
permanent, and more convenient for reference, than could be 
furnished by the fleeting columns- of a newspaper. Hence the 
appearance of this volume. Some seven new chapters have 
been written, while those which had already appeared have 
been greatly enlarged by the addition of a considerable amount 
of matter which could not find room even in the generous space 
placed at the writer's disposal by the editor of the Advocate. 
The arrangement of the subjedts dealt with has involved a few 
repetitions of statement, which the critical eye will duly 
notice. Circumstances beyond the writer's control — in- 
cluding the difficulty of procuring certain current lodge 

i3Mr. Mackey appeared at the Inquiry for the Officers of the Engineer- 
ing and Eledlrical Branch. 


documents, etc. — have delayed the appearance of these 
chapters in book-form. They are now placed before the public 
in the hope that they may supply, in handy form, and as far as 
they go, reliable information as to the aims, methods, and 
tendency of a little-known, but acflive. secret society, which has 
kept a portion of the North of Ireland in a state of unhealthy 
ferment for over a century, and which, for the past few years, 
has been executing a forw'ard movement in our midst. The 
reader will perceive that the overwhelming majority of the 
statements made in this volume regarding the Orange society 
are drawn from the Reports of Parliamentary Committees, Royal 
Commissions, and other forms of official inquiry, from the 
documents of Orange lodges and the utterances of the Orange 
press and platform, and from the works of Protestant writers 
of undoubted eminence. 

March i, 1897. 


Preface to the Fourth Edition* 

The favourable reception accorded to previous editions of this 
book, and the continued demand for copies of it, have led to 
the publication of the present issue. Several typographical 
and other minor errors, Avhich were inadvertently passed over 
in previous editions, have been correcfled. The book has been 
revised throughout, and enlarged by the addition of some forty 
pages of useful matter bearing on the Orange question, which, 
ds had been anticipated, has already begun to assume a 
somewhat unpleasant aspe(5t in more than one of the Aus- 
tralian colonies. Since the lines on Orangeism in the police 
force (pp. 323-324) went through the press, incidents have 
occurred, arising out of disturbances at the Brunswick 
L.O.L. procession, which are strongly calculated to in- 
crease the growing distrust of Catholics in the adminis- 
tration of justice in this colony. With a view to testing 
their credibility, counsel for the defence asked several police- 
men — Crown witnesses — if they were Orangemen. The ques- 
tion was strongly objecfted to by Counsel acting on behalf 
of the Crown, by the Police Inspeiflor, and a majority 
of the bench. ^ Reference to the Reports of the various 
Royal Commissions of inquiry into the riots in Ulster, 
and to proceedings before Supreme Court judges in the 
same province, will show that this question has been re- 
peatedly put, both to police and civilian witnesses, as a 
matter of course, and without the slightest demur or 
protest, in prosecutions arising out of sectarian disturbances; 
moreover, an affirmative reply is understood to indicate a 
strength of bias which seriously impairs the credibility of a 
witness. The reader is referred to the evidence of strong 
se(5tarian bias displayed in party cases by Orange police in 
Belfast ; to the regulation forbidding the members of the force 
in Ireland from joining the association ; - to the notoriously 
crooked ways of Orange witnesses ; ^ and to the stern and 

'^Herald, July 26 and 28, 1897 ; Argus and Age of following days. 

2Pp. 323-324. By the Regulations, Viftorian policemen, before being 
received into the force, are required to state whether they belong to any 
secret society, and if so, to what one. 

^See Preface, pp. 39-40, 46-47, 108, no sqq., 115, 123-124, 247-248, 321, 
323-324, 3S5. 


vigorous condemnation of the methods by which the founts of 
justice are habitually poisoned by Orange magistrates* and 
jurymen/ The ways of justice in the Orange portions of Ulster, 
have, for over a century, been a scandal to the country, and 
the despair of honest administrations; but I have yet to learn 
that police-witnesses in that woful corner of the most distress- 
ful country were ever protected, either by Crown officials or 
the bench, from being compelled to answer a question which, 
as the pages of this book will show, has, unhappily, only too 
decided a bearing on their credibility in party cases. It will 
be news to many of my readers to learn that, contrary to law 
and facTt, the Orange association was officially recognised 
as a Friendly Society by a Minister of the present Vicftorian 

I take this opportunity of thanking the Rev. E. C. Daly for 
several useful suggestions, and both the Catholic and the non- 
Catholic press of several of the colonies for their friendly 
notices of the work. I desire, in particular, to gratefully 
acknowledge the valuable services so freely and whole- 
heartedly rendered me, from first to last, in connedlion with 
this book, by the Rev. P. O'Doherty, M.R.I. A. 

August I, 1897. 

Preface to the Seventh Edition. 

In preparing the seventh edition for the press, I have correcfted 
several errata, and appended many additional references to the 
footnotes, chiefly from the Reports of the Parliamentary Com- 
mittees of 1835. 


September 5, 1897. 

■^See pp. 34, 40-41, 43, 44 {note), 73, 75, 77, 17S, 208, 224, 223 (and 
note), 249, 256, 260 {note), 2C5, 309, 311 [note), 312-314, 322-323, 325, 328, 

333-334. 335-337, 345-347. 3«5- 

r-See pp. 256, 304 305, 310, 317, 319, 320, 321, 322, 32G-327, 329, 330- 

332. 345-347. 385- 



Preface to the First Edition 
Preface to the Fourth Edition 
Preface to the Seventh Edition 

Chapter I. Introducflory : A Brief Excursion 

through Orangeism — Bre'r Rabbit's 
Advice: When to "Lay Low" and 
when to Strike — Parliament and the 
Society : Some Embarrassing Atten- 
tions — An Orange Question and what 
it leads to — Why do we know so little 
of the Society? — A Governor-General 
gives a bit of his Mind. 




Chapter H. Stateof Parties at the Riseof Orangeism 
— A Union of Hearts: Growth of Re- 
ligious Toleration — The Rift in the 
Lute: An Ancient Village Feud, and 
what came of it 


Chapter IIL The Battle of the Diamond — How the 
new Sign-board was set up — A Ques- 
tion of Veracity : Rival Witnesses and 
a Tangled Tale — "The Great Day": 
"It was a Famous Vicftory" — What 
the British Parliament thought of it — 
The First Orange Lodge . . 36 

Chapter IV. Peep-o'-Day Boys, alias Orangemen — 
An Oath of Blood — The Inaugural 
Revelry of the Lodges: "Sword, Fire 
and Faggot: W^ill Thresham and John 
Thrustout" — The Roll Call — The 
Charter Toast . . . -57 



Chapter V. Membership : Its Limitations — " No 

Papist Need Apply" — The Queen, 
the Rituahsts, and other " Wishy- 
VVashy," " Shilly-Shally," " Namby- 
Pamby" Protestants — A Marriage-law 
of the Lodges — Who are Eligible ? 


Chapter VI. Wheels within Wheels — How the 
Secret is Guarded : Oaths, Tests, 
Signs, and Passwords — A Message 
from the King — Orangemen in the 
Witness-box and at the Bar of the 
House : Lodge Law v. Civil Law 


Chapter VII. Organisation of the Orange Society: 
The Ruling Caste; the Subjedl: Caste; 
the Inner Circle and its Ways — The 
Grand Lodge " Maintains its Autho- 
rity" — How the Brethren " Make their 
Influence Felt": Rules for Parliamen- 
tary and Municipal Elecflions — The 
Autocrat of the Lodges and the Poll- 
ing-booth .... 


Chapter VIII. Orange Demonstrations: Fine Phrases 
Appraised — The Oratorical Carnival: 
A few Whiffs from Billingsgate — The 
.Secret out : Catholics and the Public 
Service — The Scarlet Woman and the 
Grand Old Enemy — Cain and Abel, 
and the People who wear Horns 


Chapter IX. Looking Backward : Orange Demon- 
strations viewed through Green Glasses 
— The Violated Treaty — The Penal 
Code : Striking the Shepherds ; Dis- 
persing the Flock — A Williamite 
Marriage Law — Beggary by A(5l of 
Parliament — "A Great System of 
Bribery " — " The Ignorant Irish" 


Chapter X. Orange Demonstrations : The Theat- 

rical Display and its Methods — Roving 
Agitators : Their Words and their Ways 


-Wnat does "Loyalty" mean? — -The 
March Past: Guns, Bayonets, "Sack- 
fuls of Revolvers," Broken Heads, and 
other Valuable Property — Sniffing the 
Odour of Battle 


Chapter XI. Orange Demonstrations: The Forces 
Marshalled and getting to Work — 
Party Tunes, Party Cries and Em- 
blems, and the Big, Big Drum — An 
Orange Holiday : How the Brethren 
do their Merrymaking in Ulster— 
Who Pays the Reckoning? — Some 
Forms of Opposition 


Chapter XII. The Loyalty of the Orange Society — 
Clearing the Ground : A Definition 
of Terms — Official Professions and 
Official Praiflice : Five " Obligations" 
of an Orangeman^How the Brethren 
Aid the Civil Authorities— What "A 
Slight Exuberance of Loyalty" means 
— Loyalty in the Market: Its Selling 
Price ..... 


Chapter XHI. Loyalty of the Orange Society — Orange 
Soldiery : "The Gallant Orange Yeo- 
manry" — Martial Law, Free-quarters, 
and other "Well-timed Measures" — 
The Gentle Sex : LoyaHsts v. Rebel 
Gallantry — The Orange Inquisition 
and its Ways — How Rebels were 
Made — The Reign of Terror; the 
Reign of Law; the Reign of Peace . 


Chapter XI\'. Loyalty of the Orange Society: Orange 
Magistrates and Jurors — Bench, Bar, 
and Parliament Speak — "Poisoning 
the Founts of Justice": "The Law an 
Instrument of Tyranny" — "Reform 
the Magistracy of Ireland, my Lord " 
— An Ulster Endemic : A Crop of 
Cases and a Prescription 



Chapter XV. Loyalty in the Supreme Council ot 
the Orange Institution — The Grand 
Lodge, the Party Processions Adls, 
and the Courts of Justice — Corrupting 
the Loyalty of the Army — How the 
A6i of Suppression Worked — The 
Cumberland Conspiracy 

Appendix A. The Position of Catholics in Belfast, 
Derry, and Armagh — The Position of 
Protestants in the South and West of 
Ireland ..... 

Appendix B. Ritual of Introducftion to the Orange 
Degree : Introductory Remarks 

Appendix C. Rules of the Loyal Orange Institution 
of Vi(5loria 

Index of Authorities .... 

General Index ..... 

Additional References 

Errata .... . . 







Orange Society. 

Chapter L 


*' Could his Majesty, King William [of Orange] learn in the 
other world that he has been the cause of more broken heads 
and drunken men since his departure than all his predecessors, 
he must be the proudest ghost and most conceited skeleton 
that ever entered the gardens of Elysium." Thus wrote an 
Orangeman, Sir Jonah Barrington,^ in his Personal Sketches. 
The quoted passage applies to the breaches of the peace and 
the general confusion which have been, ever since 1796, the 
ordinary accompaniment of the typical Orange celebration of 
the Williamite vicftories in Ireland. Since its rise, in 1795, 
the Orange society has left its impress on the history of 
Ireland : not indeed a broad track on the course of her story, 

^Sir Jonah Barrington was, early in 179S, a member of Lodge No. 176 
(Dublin). Minutes of Evidence, Parliamentary Seled Committee (Irish) of 
1835, 03 Orange Lodges, Q. 9522. 


but rather the mark of one who works deeoly in a narrow 
groove. The association presents many features of interest : 
in its curious blending of politics and religion, in its early rise 
and progress, its varying fortunes, its plan of orgaxiisation, its 
aims, and its modes of a(flivity. A study of these last affords 
an insight into what is, in some respecfts, a unique phase in 
the known working of secret organisations. 

There is one clear note in its special religious programme : 
strenuous resistance to the Church of Rome. The rest, as we 
shall see in the fifth and following chapters, is vague or 
intangible (as where it speaks of supporting " the " Protestant 
religion) ; or it is frankly abandoned, or not insisted on. The 
English Parliamentary Selecft Committee, appointed in 1835 
to inquire into the Orange society, said in their Report: " Your 
Committee find that the Orange lodges have a decidedly 
political charadlier, and that almost all their proceedings have 
had some political objecft in view." In the course of these pages 
the reader will see that the brethren have been, throughout 
the course of Orange history, almost universally opposed to 
all broad-minded and progressive legislation in the direcflion 
of popular ^rights, such as Catholic Emancipation, Parlia- 
mentary Reform, the Irish Education Aift, the extension of the 
franchise, etc. On one subje(5l associated with politics, the 
rules and ritual of the institution are of quite a Draconian 
chara(5\er — namely, on the duty of the brethren to support the 
nominees of the Grand Master at Parliamentary and 
Municipal elecStions. Reference to the seventh chapter of 
this series will show that, on this sul)je(5t, the law of the lodges 
has a note as uncompromising as the snap of a steel trap. 

The Orange society furnishes an interesting illustration of 
what a movement from below may come to be when its 
programme fits in with the need of a powerful political party, 
determined, at all hazards, to maintain its star in the 
ascendent. The organisation arose in 1795, among a "rude 
and illiterate mob " in Armagh county.^ Through the 
encouragement given to the association by Government during 
the Pitt administration,* it rapidly worked its way sideways 
and upwards until, in the course of time, it included in its 
motley ranks members of every stratum in society, from Tony 
Lumpkin to the royal Duke of Cumberland, brother of the 
reigning King, William IV. It was, in effecft, an Association 
for the Revival and Perpetuation of Religious Animosities ; 

"^Chambers'' Encyclopedia, ed. 1865, art. " Orangemen." T'-? chapter 
iv., infra. 

^Lecky', Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 47; ci. vol. lii., pp. 
431, 473; iv., 52, 55. See chapter xiii., infra. 


it was strangely out of joint with the temper of the time ; 
it successfully stemmed the tide of religious toleration that was 
coming in with a rush in the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century; and in two short but feverish years ' (1795- 1796) 
it succeeded in altering, to a great extent, the subsequent course 
of Irish history. '' On its fortieth anniversary, in 1835, it had 
a compacft party in Parliament ; had honey-combed the army 
and every department of the Civil Service ; and had in its 
ranks considerably over a quarter of a million of armed 
civilians, all under the supreme and irresponsible control of 
its Imperial Grand Master, the Duke of Cumberland.* 


The Orange association possesses the keen sense which 
secret societies, generally, share with hunted animals: when 
its thews and sinews are young or flaccid, or when it is other- 
wise lacking in physical force (as in Australia), or when there 
is a scent of danger in the air, it follows the cautious advice of 
old Bre'r Rabbit; "Lay low and say nuffin'."" But in the 
days of its strength an opposite policy is pursued. For in- 
stance : referring to its Augustan era — 1829-1835 — the Report 
of the Parliamentary SeledT: Committee of 1835 says that in 
the correspondence of the Imperial Grand Lodge, " there is 
a general reference to the advantage of increase of numbers, 
of boldness of attitude, and even of physical force, to support 
the views of the Orange institution." According to his own 
statement, Fairman was busy at the time working up among 
the brethren " such an attitude of boldness as will strike the 
foe [their political opponents] with awe,"' and "such a moral 
and physical force" as will " strike them with terror and sore 
dismay;"" while Deputy Grand Master Plunkct, M.P., refers 
to " the physical strength of the Orange institution as its last 
resort."'* In the pursuit of their "forward" policy, the brethren 
(as we shall see in detail in subsequent chapters) calmly and 
triumphantly defied magisterial and viceregal proclamations; 
overrode A6is of Parliament (such as the Party Processions 

*Lecky, op. cit., vol. iii., p. 446. See chapter ii., infra. 

^Report, Pari. Sele6t Committee of 1835. 

«The adlion of a Melbourne lodge, as detailed in the preface of these 
chapters, is a case in point, as regards a unit of the society. An instance 
in which the whole society found it convenient to " lay low " will be found 
in chapter x., infra, note 17 and text. 

"Deputy Grand Secretary Fairman's letter to the Duke of Gordon 
(Gra»d Master for Scotland), August 11, 1833, in Report of English Seled 
Committee, Appendix. 

^Fairman's Letter to Lord Longford, June, 1833, ibid. 

•Letter 10 Fairman, July 5, 1834, ibid. 


and Oaths Acfts) ; withstood, with arms in their hands, ihe 
forces of the Crown ; systematically, and on a vast scale, 
tampered with the loyalty of the nation's last resource — its 
army; and finally, as contemporary Protestant historians tell 
us, entered into a conspiracy to exclude the Princess (now 
Queen) Vicftoria, from the British throne, in favour of their 
Imperial Grand Master, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland. The 
menacing and seditious behaviour of the organisation led to 
the Parliamentary inquiries of 1835. The revelations then 
made as to the society's aims and methods of work aroused the 
alarm and indignation of the country; the public exposure 
shook the pillars of the Grand Imperial Institution of London, 
that had ruled the lodges of the world. English Orangeism 
fell like another temple of Dagon. Since that fateful year, the 
olden glories of the society have never returned. It has 
existed since then as a series of separate national associations, 
held together in a loose confederacy by an Imperial Grand 
Council, presided over by an Imperial Grand Master, who, I 
believe, is, or was, the Earl of Enniskillen. These national or 
colonial offshoots retain the same life-aims, the same organisa- 
tion and methods of work, and (with slight modifications to 
meet local requirem.ents) the same Laivs and Constitution. 


It has been the lot of the Orange society to attract, 
throughout the course of its history, the marked attention of 
the makers and administrators of the law — more so, perhaps, 
than any other association now existent. It was the subjecft of 
animated debates in the Irish House of Commons as early as 
1796, when it was, so to speak, only an infant in arms — one 
year old. Its "forward" policy occupied the attention of the 
British House of Commons almost every year from 181 3 to 
1825, when it was suppressed by A(51: of Parliament. In 1836, 
the English lodges dissolved in anticipation of a similar Acft. 
The society was, moreover, the sole or chief objecfl of three 
Party Processions Adts (1832, 1850, i860), and of divers Oaths 
and Tests A(fls^°; and its proceedings have furnished themes 
for question and debate in Parliament from its reorganisation 
in 1828 down to the present time. In Ulster, and in Canada, 
the celebration of its anniversaries is, as we shall see in the 
tenth and eleventh chapters, a standing menace to the public 
peace, and a constant source of anxiety to the Executive: in 
the Irish province these displays have cost the ratepayers as 
much money as would w-ipe out the public debt of an 

^See chapters vi., x., xi., infra. 


Australian colony. Ulster is the head-quarters of the Orange 
association ; the west of Scotland is a good ally ; Canada — 
and especially the province of Ontario — has the most adlive 
and energising of the colonial offshoots of the society ; Australia 
is a land of promise. The first Australian lodge of which the 
present writer has any record was founded in Sydney, in 
defiance of the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, by one 
Corporal INIcKee, of the 17th regiment, in 1833.^^ 

Each colony has long had its Grand Lodge, with its 
scattered groups of distridl and private lodges. The separate 
Orange organisations in each colony were from time to time 
and here and there moved in a halting and tentative way by 
the spirit of federation which swept over Australia. Some 
years ago the lodges of Vicloria, South Australia, Queensland, 
and Tasmania, were brought under the control of what is 
termed the Grand Council of Australasia.^^ The most recently 
formed, or one of the most recently formed, of the lodges of 
Vicfloria is numbered i6g.^^ Western Australia claims sixteen 
lodges and about a thousand brethren. New South Wales is 
apparently looked up to by some of the fraternity as the Ulster 
of the group. The Royal Black Preceptory lodges are but the 
penetralia of the institution — the ordinary meeting places of the 
choice spirits who form the inner rings or " higher degrees" 
of the association. Akin to the Orange body is the Protestant 
Alliance Friendly Society. It also has for its organ the 
Vidorian Standard, circulates among its members the 
same class of No-Popery literature, and joins hand in 
hand with the " Sons of William " in their annual demonstra- 

^'^Report of Parliamentary Seledt Committee (English) of 1835, p. xv. 

I'-The Grand Council assembles once in three years. Its last meeting 
was held in Melbourne, April 22, 1897, representatives being present from 
the Grand Lodges of the colonies mentioned above (Victoyian Standard, 
April 30, iSgy). The lodges of the colonies just referred to have a uniform 
system of secret signs and passwords, which are devised by the Grand 
Council at its triennial meetings (Victorian Standard, ibid). The New South 
Wales lodges may or may not have joined this confederacy, but according 
to Grand Secretary Baker of the Vidorian institution, they have a separate 
and independent system of signs and passwords (Victorian Standard, 
November 30, 1897). Western Australia has a Grand Council of its 

^'^Victorian Standard, May 31, 1S97. 

i*Reference to the Victorian Standard of November 30, 1896, will show 
that the offices of this society are filled altogether, or almost altogether, 
by members of the Grand Orange Lodge of the colony. The Protestant 
Alliance Friendly Society may be looked upon as pradtically but a benefit 
branch of the Orange association. 



The Australian colonies have not, thus far, witnessed the 
full blossom and fruit of Orangeism, as displayed in Ulster and 
in Canada. This is not, however, due to any difference in 
principles of conducfl: — such does not exist : it is the result of 
fewer opportunities or smaller possibilities of adlivity. None 
the less, the society has contrived to produce, even in this 
portion of the Empire, acute forms of local irritation. Riots 
were narrowly averted in Melbourne on the twelfths of July, 
1844 and 1845. On the Williamite anniversary of the following 
year, a number of armed Orangemen assembled in the Pastoral 
Hotel in that city, illegally hung out offensive party emblems, 
and, while the authorities were proceeding to remove the 
banners and arrest the brethren, fired through an open window 
a volley which wounded an inoffensive spectator named David 
Hurley, led to the death of a chance passer-by (Jeremiah 
Denworth), and narrowly missed taking the valued life of one 
of the most distinguished statesmen of the colony. Sir John 
(then Mr.) O'Shanassy . A similar public display of an offensive 
Orange emblem (a transparency) at the Melbourne Grand Lodge 
(the Protestant Hall) led to another disturbance, November 27, 
1867, on the occasion of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to 
Vicftoria. In their joint narrative of the Duke's travels, his 
chaplain and Mr. Brierly write: " The exhibition of a design 
of such a decidedly party characSter had been generally con- 
demned as likely to provoke the animosity of an opposite facftion, 
and the authorities tried, but without success, to prevail upon 
the Orangemen not to exhibit it." The same writers go on 
to relate how, on the second night of the display, stones were 
thrown at the "obnoxious device," when " the ] sople within the 
building immediately fired an indiscriminate volley in amongst 
the crowd. Two men and a poor boy were seriously wounded, 
and the boy eventually died from the effects of his wound. 
. . . Nothing can excuse the Orangemen for having, in 
the first instance, exhibited a party device, which they knew 
would provoke retaliation and lead to a breach of the 
peace. "^^ Some of the proceedings of the Orange organisa- 

isThe Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea, by Rev. J. Milner and Oswald W. 
Brierly, p. 245-6^ The ^iwirrt^^ of 15th August, 1896, contains the follow- 
ing : " Mr. Mansfield, of Geelong, has furnished us with the following 
reminiscence of an Orange outrage: 'Among the reminiscences of 12th 
July, 1846, I have never seen reference made to the death of Jeremiah Den- 
worth, who was shot on that day. He arrived with me on 4th 06tober, 1841. 
On the ill-fated 12th, when removing his furniture to a fresh tenement, he 
was struck by a bullet, near J. T. Smith's tavern. The ball glanced from 
the left hip, crossed the spine under the slcin, and after a year or n3"re 
found its wav through the flesh on the inside of the right thigh, whence it wa.^ 


ticn in Vicfloria have from time to time been the subjeCl 
of uncompUmentary mention in the Legislative Assembly, and 
it has furnished the occasion for the placing of the Party Pro- 
cessions A(ft among the statutes of the colony. ^^ Its physical 
strength is not as yet sufficiently hard knit to exhibit the bold 
and triumphant defiance which Ulster Orangeism offers to Party 
Processions A6ts. It has, nevertheless, both in Melbourne and 
the provinces, made repeated efforts to evade the provisions of 
the statute. 

The Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria has taken another 
ieaf out of the principles which prevail in Belfast and in the 
Mecca of Orangeism, Derry, where, with a population of 
18,346 Catholics, and 14,860 Protestants, the former 
have been, almost to this hour, excluded from prac- 
tically every office in the gift of the municipality. The reader 
will see at the proper time from the pages of their organ, 
the Vidovian Standard, that certain Orange leaders have on 
sundry occasions given public expression to the opinion that 
Catholics, because of their religion, are unfitted for positions 
in the Public Service. An Orange lodge at Ballarat (with 
Deputy Grand Master Mr. Vale, M.L.A., in the chair) cen- 
sured certain members "for condudl: unworthy of Orangemen" 
in voting for the admission of Catholics to be members of the 
South Street Debating Society, even though their votes v/ere 
given with a view to rendering the Society non-secflarian, and 
thus securing for it a Government grant. The following report 
of the proceedings appears in the not unfriendly columns of the 
Melbourne Age of September 13, 1890, under the heading, 
" Singular Display of Bigotry" : 

Ballarat, Friday. 

"The South Street Debating Society, the premier organisa- 
tion of the kind in Ballarat, having resolved to admit Roman 
Catholics to their ranks, are now entitled to a share of the 
Government library or book vote. This share has already 
been apportioned at £so, and the amount is now on the list 
for payment to the board of management. But the rescinding 
of the rule has involved several young Orangemen in trouble 
with their lodge. No. 68, owing to their having countenanced 
or advocated the admission of all classes to the debating club. 
Among the offenders in this respetfi: are Mr. W. D. Hill, secre- 
tary to the society, and Mr. F. Barrow. Both of these gentle- 
men are members of the L.O.L., No. 68, and on Tuesday night 

ejrtradled. He lingered in agony for three years. I frequently visited him 
at his house at the rear of the Adam and Eve Hotel." 

16" That this Ad is aimed at the Orange institution is a well-known 
fadt." Victorian Standard (lodge organ), in leader. March ^i, 1897. 


they were cited to appear before a meeting of brethren at the City Fire 
Brigade Station to 'give an account of their stewardship.' 
Deputy Grand Master Bro, R. T. Vale presided, and there 
was a full muster of members of the institution. Bro. Hill, 
who is a fluent speaker, asked what charge had been preferred 
against him, and the reply was, that he had been guilty of con- 
duit unbecoming an Orangeman in assisting the ' encroachments' of the 
Roman Catholic Church by moving in the debating society for the ex- 
cision of the rule limiting membership to Protestants. Bro. Hill said 
he was not ashamed of the course of acftion he had taken, and 
he refused to apologise in any way for his conducft. But why 
should the Orangemen make, he said, a scapegoat of the South 
Street Debating Society? In the Australian Natives' Associa- 
tion, Orangemen and Roman Catholics mingled together, and 
the same might be said of the Masonic fraternity, into whose 
ranks men of all persuasions were admitted. Bro. Barrow 
also refused to retracft from the stand he had taken in throwing 
open the South Street Debating Society to all classes. The 
chairman remarked that had the bar not been removed from the 
Roman Catholics the Government grant to the society would 
have been lost. Finally the lodge censured Bros. Hill and Barrow 
for their adtioft. The former, before retiring from the lodge, said 
warmly that the Roman Catholic Church had been frequently 
charged with not allowing its members to exercise their own 
judgment, but the Orange lodge were now doing the very 
thing that they were decrying in others. If that were 
Orangeism, he had enough of it. . . . Messrs. Hill and 
Barrow have, since the meeting of the lodge, sent in their 
resignations as members of the Orange institution."'' 

The fa(5ls elicited at the Melbourne Post Office Inquiry of 
1896, as reported in the Argus and the Age of July 3 (see pre- 
face), would go to show that (i) an admittedly false charge was 
made by certain brethren of a city lodge against a trustworthy 
public servant, James Sullivan, his only crime being that he 
was a Catholic; (2) that it was their intention to bring the 
matter before the Worshipful Master of the lodge (who holds 
a high position in the Public Service) with a view to " fix up " 
Sullivan ; (3) that " subjecSts of this nature" were adliually 
dealt with by the lodge. 

These fadls will surprise no one who has lived in Ulster, 
or is acquainted with the history of the Orange institution. 
They are but the bubbles that occasionally float to the surface 
from the dark depths of lodge secrecy, but they sufficiently 

I'^The same fads are recorded in the Ballarat Star of the previous day 
(i2th September, 1S90), in which it is stated that "a vote of censure on 
Messrs. Hill and Barrow was unanimously passed." 


indicate the set of the Orange current. Those who know the 
history of such organisations are aware that they are frequently 
most determined and dangerous when apparently almost 
passive. We shall in due course refer to other reprehensible 
features in the rules and actions of the Australian association, 
which go to show that we are within measurable distance of 
the time when the public and the statesmen of these colonies 
will find themselves face to face with an Orange question, It 
has long since reached an acute stage in Canada. Charles 
Dickens (whose Pictures of Italy show the strength of his 
feeling against Catholics) thus refers, in his American Notes, to 
Toronto, the head-quarters of Canadian Orangeism : 

" It is a matter of deep regret that political differences 
should have run high in this place, and led to most discredit- 
able and disgraceful results. It is not long since guns were 
discharged from a window in this town at the successful 
candidates in an elecffion, and the coachman of one of them 
was adually shot in the body, though not dangerously 
wounded. But one man was killed on the same occasion : 
and from the very window whence he received his death the 
very flag which shielded his murderer (not only in the commission 
of his crime, but from its consequences ) was displayed again on the 
occasion of the public ceremony^* performed by the Governor- 
General, to which I have just adverted. Of all the colors in 
the rainbow there is but one which could be so employed ; / 
need not say that flag was Orange.'' 

Chambers'' Encyclopaedia has the following : " Of the colonial 
off-shoots of the Orange association, those of Canada have at 
all times been the most adliive and the most flourishing. The 
Canadian Orangemen being, for the most part, Irish emigrants, 
carried with them all the bitterness of the domestic feuds with 
the Roman Catholics. Outrages direcfted against Catholic 
churches, convents, and other institutions, were of not 
unfrequent occurrence until recently." The years 1871 to 
1878 witnessed a long series of riots and confusion in the 
Orange centres of the Dominion. With the exception of the 
year 1871, the Marquis of Dufferin (an Ulster Protestant) was 
Governor-General of Canada during the whole of this period 
of se(flarian storm. On the 26th of September in the latter 
year, when retiring from his office, he received at Toronto an 
address from the " Irish Protestant Benevolent Society," 
which is, I believe, an association of Orangemen, correspond- 
ing with the " Protestant Alliance Friendly Society " of 
Vi(5foria. In his reply, the distinguished statesman is reported 

^^The opening of a new college. 


by the New York Herald of the following day to have spoken 
as follows : 


" No one can have watched the recent course of events 
without having observed, almost with feelings of terror, the 
unaccountable exacerbation and recrudescence of those party 
feuds and religious animosities from which, for many a long 
day, we have been comparatively free. Now, gentlemen, this 
is a most serious matter. Its import cannot be exaggerated, 
and I would beseech you and every Canadian in the land who 
exercises any influence amid the circle of his acquaintance — 
nay, every Canadian woman, whether mother, wife, sister, or 
daughter — to strain every nerve, to exert every faculty they 
possess, to stifle and eradicate this hateful and abominable 
root of bitterness from amongst us. Gentlemen, I have had a 
terrible experience in these matters. I have seen one of the 
greatest and most prosperous towns of Ireland — the city 
of Belfast — hopelessly given over, for an entire week, into the 
hands of two contending religious facSlions. I have gone into 
the hospital and beheld the dead bodies of young men in the 
prime of life lying stark and cold upon the hospital floor ; 
the delicate forms of innocent women writhing in agony upon 
the hospital beds, and every one of these struck down by an 
unknown bullet, fired by those with whom they had no 
personal quarrel, towards whom they felt no animosity, and from 
whom, had they encountered them in the intercourse of ordinary 
life, they would have probably received every mark of kind- 
ness and good-will. But where these tragedies occurred, 
senseless and wicked as were the occasions which pro- 
duced them, there had long existed between the contending 
parties, traditions of animosity and ill-will, and the memory of 
ancient grievances. But what can be more Cain-like, more 
insane, than to import into this country, unsullied as it is by 
any evil record of civil strife — a stainless paradise, fresh and 
bright from the hands of its Maker, where all have been freely 
admitted upon equal terms — the bloodthirsty strife and brutal 
quarrels of the Old World ? Divided as you are into various 
powerful religious communities, none of whom are entitled to 
claim either pre-eminence or ascendency over the other, 
but each of which reckons amongst its adherents enormous 
masses of the population, what hopes can you have 
except in mutual forbearance and a generous liberality 
of sentiment ? Why, your very existence depends upon 
the disappearance of these ancient feuds. Be wise, 
therefore, in time, I say, while it is still time, for it is 
the property of these hateful quarrels to feed on their 



own excesses. If once engendered, they widen their 
bloody circuit from year to year, till they engulf the entire 
community in internecine strife. Unhappily, it is not by 
legislation or statutory restricflions, or even by the interference 
of the armed Executive, that the evil can be effecftually and 
radically remedied. Such alternatives, even when successful 
at the time (I am not alluding to anything that has taken place 
in Canada, but to my Irish experiences) are apt to leave a sense of 
injustice and of a partial administration of the law rankling in 
the minds of one or other of the parties. But, surely, 
when reinforced by such obvious considerations of self- 
preservation as those I have indicated, the public opinion of 
the community at large ought to be sufficient to repress the 
evils. Believe me, if you desire to avert an impending 
calamity, it is the duty of every human being amongst you, 
Protestant and Catholic, Orangeman and Union man, to 
consider, with regard to all these matters, what is the real 
duty they owe to God, their country, and each other. 
(Applause). And now, gentlemen, I have done. I trust that 
nothing I have said has wounded the susceptibilities of any 
of those who have listened to me. God knows I have had 
but one thought in addressing these observations to you, and 
that is to make the best use of this exceptional occasion, and to 
take the utmost advantage of the goodwill with which I know 
you regard me, in order to effecfl an objedt upon which your 
own happiness and the happiness of future generations so 
greatly depend." 

In 1882, the five judges of the Supreme Court {in re Grant 
V. The Mayor of Montreal) declared that by virtue of cap. x., 
sec. 6, of the Consolidated Statutes of the Dominion of Canada, 
the Orange institution " is an illegal body, and its members 
may be prosecuted and found guilty of misdemeanour."^'' In 
the same year the Dominion Parliament rejedted a bill to 
legalise the association.^" 


From Canada, Orangeism stole silently into the United 
States. Under the Stars and Stripes it has taken two forms : 
the Orange society proper (to which brief reference will be 
made in the sixth chapter) ; and the A. P. A., or American 
Protedtive Association, so-called, whose proceedings, especially 
in some of the Western states, bring back the memory of the 
crimes and follies of the Know-nothing organisations of 
1853 and the following years. The well-known Protestant 

^^Hist. 0/ Orangeism, by M.P., p. 297. 
^'^'Ilealy's Word for Ireland, p. 150. 



journalist, Mr, W. T. Stead, thus refer? to the A. P. A. in a. 
recent work . 

" Of all the folk-lore tales of Europe, the most horrible is 
that of the Vampire of the Levant. The vampire is the 
reanimated corpse of an evil doer, which is doomed to leave 
the tomb, and return to the living in order that, with livid 
lips, he shall draw in the life blood from the veins of his 
sleeping friends. The A. P. A., that strange association for 
the protedlion of American citizens, which seems to have 
within its ranks far more Canadians and Orangemen from 
Ulster and Glasgow than native-born citizens of the United 
States, always reminds one of the restless vampire of south- 
eastern Europe. No-Popery fanaticism died fifty years ago 
in England. We imagined it dead and buried. But here is 
the vampire thing making night hideous by re-visiting the pale 
glimpses of the moon in Western America. It is the same old 
demon, with its familiar hoof and horns and tail, scaring the 
old women of both sexes with the bogey of impending 
massacre, and of the domination of sixty millions by six. 
. _ . The anti-Catholic propaganda is chiefly the work 
of non-Americans, who, finding no field for the reception of 
their pernicious nonsense in Cardinal Manning's country 
[England] , are endeavouring to palm off upon the New 
World the cast-off trumpery for which we have no more use 
on our side of the water. '"^^ 

WHY don't we know ? 

It may at first sight appear singular that the Australian 
public should know so little of the aims and methods of a 
society which has its branches in every part of the colonies, 
and which figures so prominently before the world when each 
circling year brings its " glorious twelfth" around. The 
explanation is not far to seek. It lies partly in the difficulty 
of access to the standard sources of information on the subjedl:, 
partly in the policy of secrecy pursued by the society itself. 

I. The documents which turn a search-light into the secret 
recesses of the lodge are contained in sundry Blue Books, such 
as the voluminous Reports of the Parliamentary Committees 
appointed in 1835 to inquire into the origin and working of the 
Orange institution ; the. Reports of the several Royal Commis- 
sions of Inquiry into the sectarian riots of Belfast, Derry, 

21// Christ came to Chicago, pp. 356-357. On p. 254 Mr. Stead says; 
"Most of their [the A.P.A.] members are not Americans but Canadians 
or Britons." Deputy Grand Master R. T. Vale (Vicfloria) correctly 
describes the A. P. A. as "a body based on very similar lines to the Orange 
institution'' (Victorian Standard. November 30, 1896, p. 9 ) 


Portadown, and elsewhere . the Jouynaii of the House ci Com- 
mons ; and a number of books ihat have a iimued 
circulation among the masses of the reading public, such 
as the works ot Plowden, Madden. Mitchei, Sir Jonah 
Barrmgton. Barry O'Brien, Lecky, Killen, " M.P,. ' 
divers histories, volumes of letters and speeches, etc. All cf 
these will be treely drawn upon in ihe course or the rcllowing 
pa2;es ^' 

2. Again, in these colonies Orangeism has not as yet forced 
Itself on public attention by becoming, to the same extent as it is 
in Ulster, a constant menace to the peace, a source of anxiety to 
the Executive, and of financial loss to the country. In our midst 
it is, happily, not yet strong enough in numbers or influence to 
indulge in those ready resorts to armed resistance to the law, 
and to intimidation at election times and during periods of 
political excitement, which, as we shall see in due course, 
continue to our day to be part of the settled policy of the 
leaders of the Irish Orange association. This favourite policy 
of organised physical force was justly regarded by the English 
Parliamentary Committee of 1S35 as one of the most menacing 
features of Orangeism, and one calling for its urgent suppression 
in the interests of public tranquility. In the fourth, tenth, 
eleventh, thirteenth, and fifteenth chapters, the reader will find 
abundant details of the various uses to which the physical 
strength of the lodges has been put from 1795 to the present 

3. The popular unacquaintance with the inner workings of 
Orangeism is likewise fostered by a vital rule of the institution 
— the rule of secrecy. As in many other secret societies, this 
rule has a double acflion — {a) jealous concealment of lodge 
proceedings, documents, etc. ; (b) the publication of what would 
be termed on the Mining Exchange cooked prospecffuses. 

(a) The sixth chapter deals with the rule of secrecy, detail- 
ing the extreme, frequently illegal, sometimes criminal, means 
employed to guard the proceedings of the society not alone 
from ordinary profane outsiders, but from courts of law, from 
Parliamentary Selecfl Committees of Inquiry, and even from 
lodge members of a lower degree. This policy of secrecy — so 
vital to the lodges — forms the chief difficulty which a writer has 
to encounter in dealing with the proceedings of this curious 
politico-religious association. 

In the Australian colonies, at least, this policy of secrecy 
is apparently extended, in efTe6f, to even the public fadls of 
Orange history. The writer of these chapters has read the 

"See Index of Authorities at end of this volume. 


reports of some hundreds of L.O.L. demonstrations, together 
with a great number of articles, etc., in the files of the 
Viiitovian Standard-^ extending over a period of some thirteen 
years. He cannot, however, recall a single instance in which 
Orange speakers or writers appealed to the records of Orange 
history in support of the claims advanced by them on behalf 
of their association. As far as they are concerned, the history 
of the Order begins and ends with the " glorious revolution of 
1688," and the " glorious, pious, and immortal memory " of 
William, Prince of Orange. Inside the lodges, in their press 
and on their platform, the clock of time would seem to have 
stopped short at 1690.-* No whisper, not a breath, of the Royal 
Commissions of 1857, 1864, 1869, 1883, 1886, etc. Few, even 
among the leaders and Press champions of colonial Orangeism, 
appear to have any idea of the evidence which in 1835 laid 
bare the secrets of the well " tyled " Grand Lodge, and felled 
the institution at the moment when its final triumph was at 
hand, and when, as distinguished Protestant historians main- 
tain, the famous conspiracy was well nigh matured, which was 
to set aside the Princess (now Queen) Vicfloria, and to place 
upon the throne of England the Imperial Grand Master, 
Ernest, Duke of Cumberland.'-^ 

(h) I have indicated another contributing cause to the 
prevailing lack of knowledge of the ways of Orangemen, 
namely, their publication to the world, through press and 
platform, of what the English Parliamentary Committee of 
1835 termed a set of "ostensible purposes." These are chiefly 
contained in what are termed the "basis of the institution," 
and the "qualifications of an Orangeman." Significantly 
enough, these are the only portions of the Orange rules which 
are allowed to go before the public. They represent the 
Orange society as a sort of exalted Quakerism, and are accepted 
by many outside the lodges as the Nicene Creed of the insti- 
tution. The patient reader who follows the course of this 
volume will have abundant opportunities of seeing in detail 

2»The Victorian Standard, in its issue of April 30, 1897, describes itself 
as "the accredited organ of the [Orange] institution in Vidtoria." 

24A curious instance in point is furnished by The Rise and Progress 0/ 
Orangeism, by one F. Morgan, who writes under the pen-name "Ulster- 
man." The book is dedicated to, and published "with the sandlion and 
approval of," the Grand Master .of Vidtoria. The Rise and Progress of 
Orangeism, of which the book professes to treat, are only lightly touched 
upon in some 11 of the 96 pages of which it is composed. The remainder 
of the publication is taken up with a bombastic account of the Williamite 
wars in Ireland, "padded out " with long extrafts from the doggerel Orange 
rhymes of Robert Young ("Old True Blue.") 

2SSee chapter xv., infra. 



the hopeless incongruity of the century-old feud that exists 
between the public professions and the official pracffices of the 
Orange association. 

The purpose of this volume is not to give a set history of 
the society, but to set before the reader certain broad features 
of the inner working and the outward action of Orangeism, 
which embrace the greater portion of its annals, and which 
best explain its true aims, methods and characfter. I purpose 
to deal briefly with 

1. The rise of Orangeism; 

2. Its methods of organisation; 

3. Its demonstrations: their purpose, their methods, and 
their results; 

4. Some of its leading professions; how far they are 
consistent, or at variance, with the facfts of its history. 

In the course of the following pages the sources of informa- 
tion referred to above will be freely drawn upon : namely, 
Government Blue Books and other official publications; the 
past and current rules, rituals, and proceedings of the Orange 
society, as far as they have been brought to the light of day ; 
newspapers, tracSfs, pamphlets etc., issued in the interest of the 
lodges — as far as they can be decently quoted ; the utterances 
of statesmen, judges, historians, etc., the vast majority of whom 
are Protestants. In dealing with certain periods of Orange 
history, I have not, of course, excluded such valued standard 
Catholic authorities as Plowden, Madden, etc. The reader 
will, however, note that the verdicl: of statesmanship and of 
history on the Orange society comes chiefly from sources which 
do not lie open to the imputation of undue bias against the 


Chapter IL 


"It must be admitted that the [Orange] system had a rather 
ominous begmning." So wrote the Ulster Presbyterian histor- 
ian, the Rev. Dr. Killen.' The facfts connecfted with the rise 
of the Orange Society may be briefly stated as follow: 

1. The Orange society took its rise in a country where the 
Catholic body were singularly free from the stigma of having 
persecuted Protestants because of their religious convicftions. 

2. It arose at a time when the members of the State 
religion were more firmly and peacefully established in the 
government of the country than they had been at any time 
since the Reformation ; when there existed a kindlier feeling 
between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland than at any 
subsequent period of their history; and w^hen, of all times, 
there was least need of an association to "defend the Protest- 
ant religion" as by law established in the land. 

3. The Orange society was founded in "the most Protestant 
county in Ireland," where the Catholics were a minority of the 
population, and in a province, too, where, as the venerable 
Presbyterian historian, Hill, in his Plantation of Ulster, shows 
the Catholics had been robbed of every inch of the land that 
belonged to themselves and their fathers. 

4. Catholics at the time were as loyal as the members of 
any other religious denomination in the country. 

5. The society took its rise in events which altogether 
exclude the idea that it was founded for the defence of religion, 
or 'the maintenance of the law. 

6. Its rise was inaugurated by a fierce persecution of the 
Catholic body in Ulster. This persecution was carried out in 

i Ecclesiastical History 0/ Ireland, vol. ii., p. 359. Dr. Killen was President 
of the Assembly's College, Belfast, and is held in high esteem as a historian 
bv Irish Presbyterians. His evidence on the Orange society is all the 
m'ore noteworthy when taken in connexion with his strong prejudice 
against Catholics, which finds vigorous expression throughout the whole 
course of his Ecclesiastical History. 



direa violation of civil law and natural right ; it extended over 
a period of several years ; and forms one of the blackest epochs 
in the history of the nation's suffering and woe. 


I. Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.— The Protestant his- 
torian, Lecky, says : " The Irish have not generally been an 
intolerant or persecuting people."^ In another of his works' 
he writes : " It is open to anyone to maintain that the Irish 
Catholics would never have been content with any position 
short of ascendency ; but whatever plausibility this theory may 
derive from the experience of other countries, there is no real 
evidence to support it in Irish history." Taylor (another 
Protestant writer) says in his Irish Civil Wars^: " It is but 
justice to the Catholics of Ireland to add, that on the three 
occasions of their obtaining the upper hand, they never injured 
a single person in life or limb for professing a religion different 
from their own. They had suffered persecution and learned 
mercy, as they showed in the reign of Mary, in the wars from 
1641 to 1648, and during the brief triumphs of James II." 

Writing of these three periods of the temporary triumph of 
the hitherto persecuted Irish Catholics, Lecky says : " It is a 
memorable fa(5t that not a single Protestant suffered for his 
religion in Ireland during all the period of the Marian persecu- 
tion in England. The treatment of Bedell during the savage 
outbreak of 164 1, and the A6i establishing liberty of conscience 
passed by the Irish Parliament in 1689,^ in the full flush of the 
brief Catholic ascendency under James II., exhibit very re- 
markably this aspedl of the Irish characfter, and it was displayed 
in another form scarcely less vividly during the Quaker missions, 
which began towards the close of the Commonwealth,*and con- 
tinued with little intermission for two generations." Two pages 
further on Lecky says: "The experience of Wesley half a 
century later was very similar. He has more than once in 
his ' Journal' spoken in terms of warm appreciation of the 
docile and tolerant spirit he almost everywhere encountered."" 

^Leaders 0/ Public Opinion, ed. 1871, p. 214. 

^Hist. 0/ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 36. 

4Vol. i., p. 168. 

s Catholics were in an overwhelming majority in this Parliament. The 
A(5t ran : "We hereby decree that it is the law of this land of Ireland, that 
neither now, nor ever again, shall any man be prosecuted for his religion." 
This short period of Catholic triumph was, says the Protestant historian 
Mitchel, the only time in which liberty of conscience was recognised by 
law in Ireland from the days of Henry VIII. till the passing of the Eman 
cipation A.&. in 1829. Mitchel's Reply to Froude, chapter iii., p. 79. Mitchel 
was the son of an Ulster Protestant clergyman. 

'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., pp. 409, 411. Compare? his 

17 B 


Writing of the alleged organised surprise and massacre of 
Protestants in Ireland in 1641, the same writer says that " the 
charge is utterly and absolutely untrue." ' Rev. Thomas 
Leland, whose extreme antipathy to his Catholic fellow- 
countrymen is evidenced on almost every page of his History, 
testifies " that during the Marian persecution several English 
families, friends to the Reformation, fled into Ireland, and 
there enjoyed their opinions and worship in privacy, without 
notice or molestation."^ It is on record that the Catholic 
Corporation of DubHn housed, fed, and maintained a large 
number of Protestant refugees, and, after the death of Queen 
Mary, sent them back in safety to their homes. 

Another Protestant historian, Rev. Dr. Witherow, bears 
willing witness to the tolerant spirit of the Catholics of the 
North, when "for four months, from March to August, i68g, 
all Ulster, except Derry and the districft around Enniskillen, 
was completely at their mercy." ^ At the Alliance meetings of 
the Presbyterian Churches, held at Belfast in 1884, Rev. Dr. 
Killen, the historian, is reported by the Northern Whig of that 
date to have said that "there was not a single instance 

Leaders of Public Opinion, eA. 1871, pp. 214-215. Wesley did not recipro- 
cate the tolerant spirit he found among the Catholics of Ireland. He wrote 
against the removal of the Irish Penal Laws, and was replied to by Father 
O'Leary in what Lecky terms "a series of masterly letters." Leaders of 
Public Opinion, p. 132. 

■^In the first chapter, first volume, oi Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, 
Lecky deals very fully with this alleged massacre. He shows that the 
authorities chiefly relied on to support the story had a strong pecuniary 
interest in painting the deeds of the plundered Irish in the darkest colours ; 
and (p. 72) refers to the "enormous, palpable exaggerations they display, 
and the absolute incredibility of their narratives." The crimes committed 
by the insurgents have been, says he (p. 46), "grossly, absurdly, and men- 
daciously exaggerated;" "hardly any page of history has been more mis- 
represented" (p. 46); it has been "grossly and malignantly represented" 
(p. 100). The story of the alleged massacre, he continues, "has been 
exaggerated in popular histories almost beyond any tragedy on record. It 
has, unfortunately, long since passed into the repertory of religious con- 
troversy, and although more than 230 years have elapsed since it occurred, 
this page of Irish history is still the favourite field of writers who desire to 
excite sectarian or national animosity" (p. 59). He shows (pp. 98-99) that the 
war of 1641 was not a religious one. The number of undoubted vidtims of 
racial and religious hate which he is prepared to admit would fall very 
short of those who were tortured, or slaughtered in cold blood, before and 
during the insurredlion of 1798, mainly, as we shall see in the thirteenth 
chapter, by armed Orangemen. Lecky holds it as "certain that in three 
provinces out of the four, the adlual conduft of the Irish compares in this 
respedt [of humanity] favourably with that of their enemies " (p. 93). Cf. 
Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 215; Mitchel's Reply to Froude; O'Connell's 
Memoir of Ireland; Haverty's History, etc. 

^Hist. of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 259, ed. 1774. 

^Derry and Enniskillen, pp. 316, 321. 



on record in which any agent of the Presbyterian Church or 
mission in Ireland had been molested by any organised attack 
from Irish Catholics." Similar evidence is given by Rev. 
Mr. Irwin, in his History of Preshytevianism outside Ulster 
(P- 159)- " Their uniform testimony," says he, " is that 
they, a small minority, have been treated with kindness by the 
great mass of the population among whom their lot is cast." 

[a). There was, then, nothing in the past condu(5t of the 
Catholic body which would necessitate the formation of an 
association for the defence of the Established or any other 
Protestant Church in Ireland. Neither was there anything 
demanding such a course of acStion in the special circumstances 
of the country when Orangeism first took root, among the 
lower strata of society, in the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century, {h). The members of the State Church enjoyed at 
the time a peaceful and long-established monopoly of the 
government of the country, together with that of its offices of 
honor and emolument ; while (c) the happiest relations existed 
between the Catholic and the Protestant bodies throughout 
the nation. 


2. Growth of Religious Toleration. — For some thirty years 
before the rise of Orangeism, there had been spreading in 
Ireland, side by side with the growth of a patriotic and 
national sentiment, a steadily increasing spirit of goodwill 
between the Catholic and the Protestant bodies. As far back 
as 1770, an Irish Protestant writer could testify that " bigotry 
is losing its force everywhere."^" The Volunteers of the North 
(where the Orange society arose) admitted Catholics to their 
ranks." At their Convention, they turned out and presented 
arms to Father O'Leary.^'^ In 1782, the representatives of 143 
corps of this national Protestant army, with only two dissentient 
voices, approved of a larger mitigation of the Penal Code, and 
the admission of Catholics to the suffrage." Lord Sheffield 
testified, in a work published in 1785, that the Irish Pro- 
testants, "one -fifth, or perhaps one -sixth of a nation, in 
possession of the power and property of the country," were 
"eager to communicate that power [of voting] to the remaining 
four-fifths, which would, in effecft, entirely transfer it from them- 
selves."" Irish Protestants, at that time, evidently felt that 

loPreface to Molyneux's Case of Ireland, ed. 1770. 

"Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 130. 

^'^Ihid., p. 133. 

^^Ibid., p. 138; Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 428. 

^^Observations on the Trade 0/ Ireland, p. 372. 



they had nothing to fear from the placing of a large measure of 
political power in the hands of their Catholic fellow-countrymen. 

Writing of a later period, Lecky says that the old Penal 
Code had " perished at last by its own atrocity. It became, 
after a time, so out of harmony with the prevailing tone of 
Irish opinion, that it ceased to be enforced, and the Irish 
Protestants took the initiative in obtaining its mitigation. In 1768 
a Bill for this purpose passed without a division in the 
[exclusively Protestant] Irish Parliament, but was lost in 
England. In 1774, 1778, 1782, and 1792, several Relief Bills 
became law."^^ The great Relief Bill of 1793 became law only 
two years before the formation of the first Orange lodge. It 
gave Irish Catholics votes at Municipal and Parliamentary 
elections, and was "acquiesced in by the majority of the 
[Protestant] clergy."^*' The Commission of the Peace, the 
jury-box, and ofiticerships in the army and navy, were now 
thrown open to Catholics. All this was done by Irish 
Protestants at a time "when scarcely any public opinion 
existed in Ireland, when the Roman Catholics were nearly 
quiescent, and when the leaning of the Government was 
generally illiberal."" 

In 1 79 1 (four years before the first Orange lodge was 
founded) the society of United Irishmen, which, says Lecky, 
"consisted originally chiefly of Protestants," was formed (to 
use their own words) "to provide a union of friendship between 
Irishmen of every religions persuasion, and to forward a full, fair, 
and adequate representation of all the people in Parliament."^® "The 
Protestant gentry of Ireland had many faults," says Lecky, 
"but they were at this time remarkably free from religious 
bigotry. "^^ The Orange writer Musgrave tells how they gave 
land and money for the erecftion of Catholic chapels.^" In 1792 
" a petition for [Catholic] Emancipation, signed by 600 Pro- 
testant householders of Belfast, was presented to Parlia- 
ment."^^ A similar petition came from Derry in the very year 
in which the first Orange lodge was founded.-^ Rev. Dr. Lynch, 
a Derry priest, collecfted, in one day, close on five hundred 

^^Leaders of Public Opinion, pp. 129, 130. 

i6J6jVf., p. 211. Lecky adds that this Adl "produced nothing of that 
frantic intolerance which, both among the EngHsh and Irish clergy, was 
aroused by the much less important measure of 1829 " (the Emancipation 
Aft.) Dr. Killen says that the passing of this Aft drove the Orangemen 
"almost to madness." Eccles. Hist. vol. ii., p. 463. 

I'^Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 135. 

^^Ibid., p. 138. 

i^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 2S6. 

"^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, 2nd ed., p. 635. 

2iLecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 138. 

^^Jreland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 296. 



guineas for the Long Tower church, which was begun in 1784, 
and completed in 1786. Of this amount, fifty guineas were 
contributed by the exclusively Protestant Corporation^ of 
Derry, and two hundred guineas by Harvey, Earl of Bristol, 
who was at the time Protestant bishop of the Maiden City.^ 
Orangeism has altered all that. From its rise down almost to 
the present hour, the position of Catholics in Belfast and Derry 
is little better than it was before the Emancipation Bill 
became law.^^ 


In 1795, the year in which " the illiterate mob of Peep-o'- 
Day Boys" assumed the title of Orangemen, the relations 
between the Protestant and the Catholic bodies in Ireland were 
happier than they had been at any time since the Reformation, 
or than they have ever been from the rise of the Orange society 
to the present day. The students of the Protestant Dublin 
University (Trinity College) petitioned for Catholic Emancipa- 
tion in 1795, and publicly thanked Grattan for his labours in 
the cause. •^^ As far back as 1 792, the Irish Bar " was almost 
unanimous in favour of the Catholics."^'' Grattari'could declare 
in Parliament in 1795, that the vast majority of the Protestant 
and commercial interests were in favour of Catholic Emancipa- 
tion.^'' Lord Fitzwilliam, the new Viceroy, represented to the 
King "the universal approbation" with which Irish Protestants 
viewed the measure.'^® In his letter to Lord Carlisle, he states 
that "not one Protestant corporation, scarcely an individual, 
has come forward to oppose the indulgences claimed by the 
higher order of Catholics."-" Lecky says that at this time (the 
early part of 1795) "the great majority of Protestants were 
unquestionably in favour of it" (Catholic Emancipation).^" 
Praiftically the only opposition to the movement came from 

23Larcom's Ordnance Survey of Derry, p. 109. The Long Tower church 
stands on the site of the old Dubh Regies of St. Columbcille, which dates 
from about a.d. 546. (Ordnance Survey, p. 18.) CathoUc worship has 
been continued unbroken on that hallowed spot for over 1350 years. 
During the penal days the Catholics used to repair to it by stealth, and 
there worshipped the God of their fathers. A marble slab, with an in- 
scription, marks the site of the tree that sheltered the hunted priest, as he 
ministered to his people. 

2iSee Appendix A. 

25Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 343: Leaders of 
Public Opinion, p. 137. 

"^^ Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 136. 

2 ''Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 343. 

28His letter is given in Grattan's Life and Times, by his son. Henry 
Grattan (1846). 

"^^ Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 144. 

^°Ibid., p. 143; Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 285. 



" an aristocratic facftion," who " disliked the measure as 
threatening their monopoly, but it was plain that they would 
not resist the determination of the Government. "^^ " All the 
eading intellecfts of the country," says Lecky, "almost all the 
Opposition, and several conspicuous members of the Govern- 
ment, were in favour of Emancipation. The rancour which at 
present exists between the members of the two creeds appears to have 
been almost unknown, and the whole obstacle to Emancipation 
was not the feelings of the people, but the policy of the 
Government. "^^ " There are few facfts in Irish history," says 
the same writer, " more certain than that the [wholly Pro- 
testant] Irish Parliament would have carried Emancipation if 
Lord Fitzwilliam had remained." 

The reader will seek in vain, among the records of this 
time, for an indication of fear on the part of the Protestant body 
in Ireland that " the Church was in danger" in 1795, and 
needed a special organisation for its defence. Before the close 
of that fateful year, the outrages of the early Orangemen rudely 
broke the bond of brotherly feeling which had been long and 
steadily growing up between Catholic and Protestant in Ireland. 
The inaugural outrages of the lodges gave rise to a " fierce 
revival of religious animosities," which "left an enduring root 
of bitterness in Irish life."^^ We shall see more of this as we 
proceed. The altered feeling towards Catholics was strongly 
evidenced during the Emancipation and Disestablishment 
agitations, when vast numbers of petitions against these less 
important Relief Bills reached the British Parliament ; when the 
Orange lodges were in a state of scarcely veiled rebellion , 
when the forces of the Crown were defied, the Queen 
threatened, and the passing of the Bills "drove the brethren 
almost to madness."''* Toleration was better understood in 
Ireland in 1793 and 1795 (before the formation of Orange 
lodges), than it was in 1829 and 1869. 


3. In the year when the Orange society arose, Irish 
Protestants, even in those parts of the country where they 

^'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 285. 

^^Leaders 0/ Public Opinion, p. 136; cf. p. 215. Referring to the period 
of the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, in 1795, Lecky says that, at this time, 
"religious animosities appeared to have almost died away." Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 323. 

3 3Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 446. 

3*Compare Killen, Eccles. Hist. 0/ Ireland, vol. ii., p. 463. Lecky says : 
"The concession accorded [to the Catholics] in 1793, was, in is.&., far 
greater and more important than that accorded in 1S29, and it placed the Roman 
Catholics, in a great measure, above the mercy of Protestants." Leaders 
of Public Opinion, p. 136. 



were a small minority of the population, evidently felt that 
their religion had nothing to fear from their Catholic fellow- 
subjects. Much less had they to fear in the county of Armagh, 
where the first Orange lodge was founded in 1795. Lord 
Camden, the Viceroy, who was sent over to Ireland in that 
year to superintend the work of goading the people into 
insurre(ftion, informed the English Government that the 
Protestants [Episcopalians] were '*the most numerous" body 
in the county of Armagh. ^^ Lord Gosford, a Protestant and 
Governor of the county in 1795, wrote to Pelham that his 
co-religionists were "greatly superior in strength" to the 
Catholics in Armagh. '"^ Plowden, a contemporary historian, 
states that " the county of Armagh is the most Protestant 
[Episcopalian] county in Ireland. It is in great part a species 
of English colony."'^'' Writing of the period when Orangeism 
in its present shape arose, Lecky says : " In the county of 
Armagh the Protestants were decidedly in the ascendent," 
and that they were " considerably stronger than the 
Catholics."^® Again, General Craddock had proved that the 
forces of the Crown were quite sufficient to put down the 
riotous lower orders of Protestants and Catholics who filled 
the ranks of the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the Defenders. And 
the forces of the Crown were wholly in the hands of the 
Protestant majority. Of all parts of Ireland, the Established 
Church in Armagh county stood least in need of a special 
defensive organisation. We shall in due course see that, even 
if such a need had existed, the Peep-o'-Day Boys — whether 
known by that title, or by their later designation of Orangemen 
— were the last to whom the State Church would have been 
likely to look for aid. 


4. The Protestant historian, Lecky, says that the Irish 
Catholics in 1795 (the birth year of Orangeism) "could point 
with pride to their pcvfcCt loyalty for the space of a hundred 
years, in spite of the penal laws, of the rebellions of 1715 and 

ssproude, The English m Ireland, vol. iii., p. 178, twte ; Lecky, Ireland 
in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 434. See chap, v., infra, note 7. 

•''^Quoted in Lecky's Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 431, 

^''Hist. of Irelatid from its Union with Great Britain, vol. i., introd. p. 9. 
The designation "Protestant" was then appropriated exclusively by 
members of the Established Church. See Killen, ii., p. 363, and chapter 
v., infra, note 7. 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 425 ; vol. iv., p. 47. Killen 
says that Armagh County was the part of Ulster, " in which the largest 
amount of money was expended by the state for the maintenance of [the 
established] religion" ii., 356. 



1745, and the revolt of the colonies."'^ At the time of 
the Volunteer movement "they were perfecftly peaceful, and, 
indeed, quiescent."^" We shall see, in the course of this 
chapter, that the Irish Catholics as a body were quite dis- 
associated from the feuds of the lower order of Protestants 
and Catholics in Armagh county, which led to the formation 
of the first Orange lodge. In 1793, during the debate on the 
Catholic Relief Bill, Lord Arthur Wellesley declared in the 
Irish House of Commons that the Catholic body were "as 
loyal and trustworthy as any other of his Majesty's subjecfts."" 

" The revolutionary movement in its earlier stages existed 
mainly among the Protestants of the North," and principally 
among the Presbyterians.'*^ Catholic priests looked with 
horror on the Revolution, ^^ which had wrought such havoc 
upon the Church in France. Up to the withdrawal of Lord 
Fitzwilliam, although lawlessness existed, the Catholic masses 
were free from the taint of " acftive political disaffecflion."^^ 
The three leaders of the United Irishmen, in their Memoir to 
the Government, are quite agreed upon two points — (a) that 
their association " made but little way amongst Catholics 
throughout the kingdom until after the recall of Lord 
Fitzwilliam," and (b) that the Orange outrages in Ulster first 
drove them in considerable numbers, and for self-protecflion, 
into the ranks of the United men.^^ 

In 1796 — the year following the opening of the first Orange 
lodge — a French fleet invaded Bantry Bay. Then there was 
witnessed a curious contrast between the sedition of the 
Protestant portions of Ulster and the loyalty of the remaining 
three provinces of Ireland. The Viceroy, Camden, asserted 
that, to his personal knowledge, Ulster was at the time " ripe 
for revolt."*" Belfast was the centre of the republican move- 
ment. The Sovereign of the city failed to raise even a corps 

^^Leaders 0/ Public Opinion, p. 149. The celebrated Father O'Leary 
"wrote an address to the Roman Catholics, inculcating loyalty during the 
Rebellion of 1745" Ibid., p. 132. 

^oibid., p. 96. 

*iQuoted in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, p. 73. 

^'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 446; also 543, 544; v., 
490, etc. Leaders of Ptiblic Opinion, p. 148. 

^^Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 148. Eighteenth Century, iii., 511. 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 446, 323 ; Leaders of 
Public Opinion, p. 148. 

^sThe Memoir is given in full in McNevin's Pieces of Irish History, pp. 
174-194. Cf. Plowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. i., introd., p. 51 ; Lecky, 
Leaders of Public Opinion, pp. 148-149. See note 54, infra. Two of the 
authors of the Memoir (Emmet and O'Connor) were Protestants; the third 
(McNevin) a Catholic. 

*6Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 544. 



of yeomanry to meet the threatened invasion. " The dis- 
affedtion was grave and general."" "Everything is quiet" 
[in the South and West] , wrote Beresford at the time, " and 
loyalty apparent everywhere, except in the North.'"^^ Even 
Lord Clare, in spite of his strong anti-Catholic feehngs, spoke 
as follows in a debate in the Irish Parliament, February ig, 

" During all the disturbances which prevailed m other parts 
of the kii^gdom we were in a state of profound tranquility and 
contentment there [in the Southern and Midland distridts] 
. . When the enemy appeared on the coast ... a 
general sentiment of loyalty prevailed in all ranks and degrees 
of the people, who vied with each other in contributing to 
defend their country against the invaders." ^^ The garrison of 
Dublin was reduced.^" Catholic yeomanry corps were formed ; 
and the Catholic population of Leinster, Connaught, and 
Munster turned out enthusiastically to feed the troops, repair 
the roads, contribute funds, and do all that lay in their power 
to stem the tide of French invasion.*^ Even the Ulster 
Catholics who had been driven out of their plundered houses 
" to hell or Connaught," by the Orangemen, in the depth of a 
bitter winter, were loyal and peaceable at the time.^^ " All 
the evidence we possess," says Lecky, " concurs in showing 
that the great body of the Catholics did not at this time show 
the smallest wish to throw off the English rule, and that their 
spontaneous and unforced sympathies were with the British 

Whatever danger may have menaced the authority of the 
British Crown in Ireland in 1795 — the year of the first Orange 
lodge— such danger did not arise from the condudl of the 
Catholic body, or of any considerable secftion of it. Again : 
even had such a danger existed, the last persons to whom we 
should have looked for a loyal defence of the Crown and 
Constitution would be what Protestant officials, statesmen, 
and historians unite in terming the " lawless banditti" of 
Peep-o'-Day Boys, who in 1795 took to themselves the alias of 

^''G. Brown to Pelham, Dec. 30, 1796, Ibid., p. 543. 

^filbid., cf. pp. 480, 483, 545. 

^^Ibid., pp. 474-475- 

^°Ibid., p. 545; cf. p. 265. 

siSee Lecky's Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 529-548 ; 
Dr. Lanigan, his Life and Times, by Fitzpatrick, p. 72 ; Correspondence of 
Edmund Burke, iv., p. 268. 

•''■■^ Lecky, op. cit., p. 543. 

^^Ibid., p. 541 ; cf. pp. 443 and 540. At p. 540, he says that " although 
treason had of late years been zealously propagated among them, its 
influence was as yet very superficial." 



Orangemen. There is no reason to doubt that the allegiance 
of the Irish Catholics would have come unscathed through the 
events which turned such a large proportion of Ulster Protes- 
tants into rebels, but for the inaugural outrages of the Orange 
lodges, and the cruel policy of Pitt in forcing the people into 
rebellion for the purpose of depriving Ireland of her Legislature. 
The Orange outrages of 1795, 1796, and 1797 produced a 
consternation and panic in the country such as had never been 
experienced since the days of Cromwell, and drove the Catholics 
of the North for prote(5lion into the ranks of the United Irish- 
men.^* These outrages were followed fast by the Irish Reign 

54" We solemnly aver," said the United leaders in what Lecky terms 
their " evidently truthful Memoir^' to the Government, " that whenever the 
Orange system was introduced, particularly in Catholic counties, it was 
uniformly observed that the number of United Irishmen increased most 
astonishingly. The alarm whick an Orange lodge excited amongst the Catholics 
made them look for refuge by joining together in the United system." McNevin, 
Pieces of Irish History, p. 178, ed. 1803. See note 45, supra. 

The other leading fadts connedled with the society of United Irishmen 
may be briefly stated as follow ; 

(a) The society was founded in Belfast, in 1791, by Wolfe Tone, a 
Protestant barrister. 

{b) It was at first (1791-1795) frankly loyal and constitutional ; its 
aims being to secure, by peacable agitation. Parliamentary Reform and 
Catholic Emancipation. (Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 140; Wal- 
pole, Kingdom of Ireland, ch. viii., p. 411). 

{c) When constitutional agitation utterly failed, the society adopted 
republican principles (1795-1798). (Lecky, op. cit.; Mitchel, Hist. Ireland, 
vol. i., ch. xxx). They did not, however, adopt a military organisation 
until the end of 1796 — when the Orange outrages had been in full progress 
for a year or more (Lecky, Eighteenth Century, iii., 489; McNevin, Pieces of 
Irish History, p. 182). Even after republicanism had become a plank of the 
organisation, there is evidence to show that the United leaders would have 
accepted Parliamentary Reform (McNevin, Pieces of Irish History, p. 104). 

(d) The members of the society were at first almost altogether Pro- 
testants, and mainly Presbyterians. A year or two before the insurredtion, 
Samuel Neilson said two-thirds of them were Presbyterians and Deists, 
the remainder members of the Established Church and Catholics (Lecky, 
op. cit., iii., 202, 479, 489; v., 490; Leaders of Public Opinion, pp. 138, 141; 
Dickson's Narrative, p. 116; Cornwallis Correspondence, ed. 1859, vol. ii., 
338; Musgrave, Memoirs of Different Rebellions, ed. 1801, vol. i., p. 195). 
Lecky states that at least five-sixths of the United Irish leaders were Pro- 
testants. Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 242; cf. vol. iii., p. 485. 

[e) The great centre of the United Irish society was Ulster. (Wal- 
pole, p. 464). It never secured so firm a hold on the South or West ; and 
Wexford county, where the insurredion of 1798 broke out, was never 
"organised." (Walpole, ch. xx., pp. 488-489; cf. Lecky, Eighteenth Cen 
tury. iii., 383). 

(/) The society was "vehemently opposed" by the Catholic bishops 
and clergy (Mitchel, Htst. of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxviii., p. 215; ch. xxxiv., 
p. 283. Cf. Killen, Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., p. 215; Lecky, Eighteenth 
Century, vol. iii., p. 512). Arthur O'Connor, one of the chief leaders, 
received Deacon's orders in the Established Church (Cornwallis Corres- 


of Terror of 1797 and 1798, during the course of which the 
Orange yeomanry, as we shall see, took a leading part in 
furthering Pitt's policy, by deliberately goading and torturing 
the unhappy people into insurredlion. 


In the midst of the growing harmony and good-will between 
Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, there existed, among the 
lower orders of the population in Armagh county, elements of 
religious discord and turbulence which cleft the fast uniting 
masses of the people, and altered the whole current of the 
nation's subsequent history. From about 1785 to 1795 con- 
flicfts had been carried on in Armagh county between an asso- 
ciation of the lower order of Protestants, called Peep-o'-Day 
Boys or Wreckers, and a combination of the same class of 
Catholics, who are known as Defenders. "The Peep-o'-Day 
Boys," says Lecky, "ultimately merged into Orangemen."*^ 
In the fourth chapter of this volume the reader will see that the 
Orange association was essentially nothing more than the 
Peep-o'-Day movement under an altered name, and with a 
more complete organisation. 

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the title of 
Defenderism covered a large number of distincft and uncon- 
necfted movements, which were mostly agrarian, and were "to 
a great extent direcfled against the owners of property. "^"^ 
They sprung from the grinding poverty and oppression from 
which the Irish farming and labouring classes were suffering 
at the period of which I write, ^^ and bore a strong resem- 
blance in miniature to the peasant risings of the Graubund 
and the Bundschuh, which arose in Switzerland and the Rhine 
provinces, from somewhat similar causes, three centuries 
before. At various times and places the poverty-stricken 
masses banded themselves together under the title of Defenders, 
to agitate for fair rents,^^ for the abolition of tithes and taxes,*^ 
the lowering of church contributions,*^ the regulation of the 
price of labour, etc."^ The Defender movement was for a long 

pondence, vol. ii.. p. 389, note). He had a cordial hatred of the Catholic 
Church and clergy (Lecky, Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 255-256). Dr. 
Madden is the standard authority on the United Irish society. 

^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. ii., p. 511. 

^'^Ibid., pp. 221, 223, 386, 445. 

^''A good idea of the condition of the Irish peasantry may be gained 
by a perusal of Arthur Young's Tour in Ireland, first published in 1780, and 
frequently reprinted since. See, for instance, Bell's edition of 1892. 

s^Lecky, op. cit., pp. 385, 386, 387, 392. 

^^Ibid., pp. 3S7-389; Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, p. 442. 

^0 Lecky, op. cit., p. 387. 




time scarcely or not at all of a political characfter.'^- It was at 
first violently antagonistic to the United Irish society, into 
which it nevertheless merged in 1796,''^ in consequence of the 
Orange outrages in the North. 

In Armagh county the Defender organisation was composed 
of the lower classes of the Catholic minority of that county, 
who were originally banded together to protecft themselves 
against the plundering and house-wrecking carried on by the 
Peep-o'-Day Boys, otherwise termed the Wreckers."^ The 
original quarrel between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the De- 
fenders began in Armagh county in 1784 or 1785. It appears 
to have been of the nature of a village brawl or a facStion 
fight. "^ The distinguishing feature of the Peep-o'-Day move- 
ment, from which it took its name, and by which it is known 
in history, is house-wrecking, and the raiding of the homes of 
Catholics by night for arms. Out of this original sin — "this 
new form of disturbance," as Lecky terms it'''' — arose the sub- 
sequent tangle of outrage and retaliation, the results of which 
endure to the present day. Killen states'''' that the plundering 
of arms from Catholics originated with some of the lower 
orders of "Protestants of the Established Church." A con- 
temporary pamphlet, which, according to Lecky, is " written 
with considerable knowledge," thus refers to the Peep-o'-Day 
Boys and the Defenders: " Here [in the county of Armagh] 
fanaticism reared her standard, and a number of deluded people 
entered into combination for the purpose of depriving Catholics of their 
arms by force. . . . For some time the Catholics remained 
patient and tranquil under their sufferings, although they 
declared that all their efforts to obtain legal redress had been 
unavailing, and that the necessities of the case would oblige 
them to enter into counter-combinations to defend their lives 
and properties against a banditti of plundering ruffians, who 
appeared to be countenanced by authority, inasmuch as they 
were not punished by the criminal laws of the land.""^ 

^-Ibid., pp. 223, 266, 446. 

^'^Ibid., pp. 221, 486 ; McNevin, Pieces of Irish History, p. 179. 

6*Walpole gives them both titles (xiii., 441); so do O'Connor, a non- 
Catholic writer (Hist, of the Irish People, p. 233), the author oi A Histoiy oj 
Orangeism (p. 18), and many others. 

65Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, ch. x., p. 421; Lecky, Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 212, 422 ; Musgrave's Memoirs vol. i., pp 


^^ Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 216. 

^''Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 356. 

6 8^ View of the State of Ireland, and of the Disturbances in that Country, 
by "Observer," London, 1797; re-published by Dr. Madden in 1863; 
quoted by him in his United Irishmen, Third Series, vol. ii.. Appendix 6, p. 
392. Madden says (ibid., p. 328) that the pamphlet was written by an 



Plowden, another contemporary historian, states that the 
raiding of arms was a new departure; that it originated with 
the Peep-o'-Day Boys; that it was carried out in such a way 
as to excite party feeling to the highest pitch ; that it gave 
rise to the association known as the Defenders, who banded 
themselves together, as their name implies, for the defence of 
themselves, their homes, and their property against the depre- 
dations of the midnight marauders. ^^ 

A similar account of the rise of the two rival Armagh 
facftions is given by Dr. McNevin, another writer of the 
period. He tells how the Peep-o'-Day Boys originated the 
house-plundering and raiding for weapons in Armagh county; 
that the Defender association, as such, "derived its name from 
the necessity of their situation," and that it was founded for 
"a(ftual self-defence."™ Musgrave, the Orange writer, likewise 
points out the new development out of which the Peep-o'-Day 
Boy and Defender movements, as they are known in history, 
arose. The Peep-o'-Day Boys, he says, assumed that name 
"because they visited the houses of their antagonists at a very 
early hour in the morning to search for arms ; and it is most 
certain that, in doing so, they often committed the most 
wanton outrages, insulting their [the Catholics'] person^; and 
breaking their furniture."" 

Mr. Christie, a venerable member of the Society of Friends, 
and eye-witness of what he relates, testified before the Parlia- 
mentary Selecft Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges, that the 
Defenders were originally a defensive organisation, and that 
the wrecking and burning of houses in Armagh and Tyrone, 
which he himself had witnessed, began with the Peep-o'-Day 
party. '^ Rev. Mortimer O'Sullivan, Deputy Grand Chaplain 
of the Orange society, was prepared to admit, before the same 
Committee, that the Peep-o'-Day Boys "were incited to corn- 

Ulster magistrate. The author says elsewhere that the Peep-o'-Day Boys 
" first set the example " of "taking arms by force " (ibid., p. 329). Madden 
had a high opinion of "Observer's" work (ibid., p. 328). Lecky's opinion, 
quoted above, will be found in his Eighteenth Century, ill., 442, note. See 
also Mitchel's Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxviii., end. 

^^Historical Review 0/ the State of Ireland (ed. 1803) vol. ii., pp. 201-202; 
cf. p. 297. Mitchel says that Plowden "is as hostile to the Defenders as 
any Orangeman." Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxxix., p. 223 (Cameron and 
Ferguson's ed). 

""^Pieces of Irish History, pp. 47, 113. 

'''^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, vol. i , p. 54. 

'''^Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 5603, 5618, 5566, sqq. In the course of the 
same examination Mr. Christie said that " there were processions of that 
party [the Defenders] previous to the establishment of the Orangemen, 
but not previous to the establishment of the Peep-o'-Day men." Qq. 5598, 



mence their aggressions at this early period, 1784, under the notion 
that they were enforcing the Popery laws," and that their 
"outrages" consisted in plundering Catholics of their arms 
early in the morning.'^ Killen, the Presbyterian historian, 
after having described the early fac5lion fights between the 
Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defenders in Armagh county, says of 
the former: "Associated together in companies, they entered 
the dwellings [of the Catholics] very early in the morning 
[at the peep of day] ; stripped them of their arms ; and fre- 
quently burned their furniture. The Peep-o'-Day Boys were 
not long permitted to proceed without opposition. The Roman 
Catholics conspired for rmittial protedlion ; bound themselves by an 
oath of secrecy; and were known by the title of Defenders."'* 
Thus far as regards the origin of the two facftions. The article 
on "Orangemen" in Chambers' Encyclopedia (ed. 1865), has 
the following : " The members of the Protestant associations 
appear at first to have been known by the name of ' Peep-o'- 
Day Boys,' from the time at which their violences were com- 
monly perpetrated ; the Catholics who associated together for 
self-defence being called ' Defenders.' " The Protestant writer, 
Walpole, referring to the early encounters of the two associa- 
tions, says : " The Protestants were more numerous and better 
armed. By law the Roman Catholics were not entitled to 
possess arms, and the Protestants took upon themselves to 
make domiciliary visits to their houses to search for arms, in 
the early hours of the morning, and hence obtained the name 
of Peep-o'-Day Boys. The Roman Catholics associated them- 
selves for self-protecftion, and went by the name of Defenders."'* 
In his Past History of Ireland, Mr. Bouverie-Pusey, who is a 
member of various learned societies, and describes himself (p. 
6) as " a Protestant and a convinced Protestant," states (p. 102) 
that, after the Cathohcs had become possessed of arms during 
the Volunteer agitation, "bands of Protestants in the North 
combined on their own authority to disarm them, They were 
called ' Peep-o'-Day Boys,' because they generally carried on 
their operations in the early morning. A counter Catholic 
association was called ' Defenders.' The former constituted 
the germ of the association of Orangemen, which from that 
date till now has played such a disturbing part in the history 
of Ireland." On the same page he says: "We may safely 
conclude that the Orangemen "^ were the aggressors." A 

■^■^IbuL, Qq. 562-563. 

''^Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., pp. 356-357. 
''^History of the Kingdom of Ireland, ch. x., p. 421. 

''"Mr. Bouverie-Pusey, like Dr. McNevin and several other writers, 
applies the term " Ctrangemen " to the Peep-o'-Day Boys, who, as we shall 


similar account of the origin of the two rival facflions is given 
by Dr. Madden," Barry O'Brien/^ and the well-known Pro- 
testant writer, Miss Harriet Martineau.''^ The noted Protestant 
historian, Lecky, says in his Leaders of Public Opinion^: " In 
1785, however, a new type of disturbance began. Protestants 
in the county of Armagh, and afterwards in other districts, 
began to form bands under the name of Peep-o'-Day Boys, 
and to attack and persecute the Catholics, who then formed 
societies called Defenders, who were at first a kind of irregular 
police, and soon afterwards became bands of depredators." 
The operations of the Peep-o'-Day Boys in Armagh, says the 
same writer, " principally took the form of a plunder of arms, 
and the wreckings of Cathohc chapels and houses. [Hence 
the name of ' Wreckers']. The name taken by the Catholics 
implies that the Protestants were the aggressors, and the stress 
of evidence favours the conclusion that in the northern counties 
this was the case, but many atrocious crimes were perpetrated 
on each side, and many lives were lost."®^ 


Three chief circumstances tended to prolong and embitter 
the quarrel between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defenders. 
These were : 

1. The chara(5ter of membership of the contending facftions; 

2. Agrarian troubles; 

3. The supineness or partiality of the civil authorities. 

To these may be added the apparently systematic spread of 
the idle tavern boasts of both facftions, false rumours of in- 
tended massacre, etc., such as, at the period of the rise of 

see in chapter iv., merely constituted the pre-lodge phase of the Orange 
association. Cf. chapter iii., infra, note 44. 

''''The United Irishmen, first series, p. gg. 

''^Thomas Drummond, p. g4. 

'''^The Thirty Years' Peace, vol. ii., p. 267. 

sop. 216. A similar account of the origin of the two associations is 
given in the same writer's /r^/a/wi tn the Eighteenth Century, vol. ii., p. 511. 
"The Defenders," says he, "were professedly, as their name imports, a 
purely defensive body." 

^''■Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 212. An outrage said to 
have been committed by the Defenders in lygi on a schoolmaster named 
Barclay was only surpassed in atrocity by the indescribable barbarities 
which a party of Orangemen are alleged to have inflidted on Father 
McMeekin, his niece, and her son, the day after the Diamond affair. 
These are detailed in a pamphlet published in 1802 and entitled The 
Atrocities that led to\the Irish Rebellion. Cf. "M.P. ", pp. 25-27. Musgrave's 
account of the Barclay outrage is marked by his charadleristic inaccuracy, 
which includes an unaccountable blunder as regards dates. Musgrave is 
as extreme a partisan of the Peep-o'-Day Boys as he is of the Orangemen. 
See chapter iv., iiifra, note i. 



Orangeism, were, says Froude, often "invented to mislead and 

I. Standard writers on this period of Irish history are quite 
agreed that the ranks of the Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defenders 
were recruited from the lowest strata of society. Feelings of 
religious rancour were quite foreign to the general spirit of the 
time, and were pracflically confined to "the lower orders of the 
two religions. "^^ Musgrave,the contemporary Orange writer, 
describes the Protestant facftion, out of which Orangeism 
arose, as belonging to the "lower orders."®* Killen, the 
Presbyterian historian, refers to them as "crowds of mis- 
creants," who "were as ignorant of the true spirit of the 
Gospel as if they had never heard the name of a Saviour."^ 
The article on "Orangemen" in Chambers' Encyclopoedia (ed. 
1865) speaks of them as "the rude and illiterate mob of Peep- 
o'-Day Boys." The Secret Committee of the Irish House of 
Lords reported in 1793 that the Defenders were " poor 
ignorant labouring men."'^*' Walpole, the Protestant historian, 
describes Defenderism as " a lawless outbreak of the lowest 
and most ignorant of the peasantry, induced by poverty and 
harsh treatment," and says that "both parties were composed 
of the lowest and most brutal of the peasantry."®^ Lecky and 
other writers speak in similar terms of the Defenders as well as 
of the members of the rival association, who, after having 
slaughtered large numbers of their opponents at the Diamond 
village in 1795, took upon themselves the new designation of 

Both associations were secret, illegal, turbulent, in rank 
antagonism to the friendly spirit then prevalent between 
Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Both were stained with 
serious crime, and were disowned by the well-disposed members 
of every creed. Plowden says : " The Catholics had suffered 
from it [Defenderism] more than their Protestant neighbours ; 
and to its suppression they had more generally, and as largely, 

s^Froude, English in Ireland, vol. iii., p. igo; cf. Lecky, Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 42'> ; Musgrave, Memoirs of the Different 
Rebellions in Irelatid, p. 54 ; Plowden, Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., 
introd., pp. 13-14; Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxix ; Madden, 
United Irishmen, first series. Mitchel, Plowden, and Madden distindlly 
charge the agents of the Government with exciting Catholics and Protes- 
tants to distrust, fear, and hatred of each other. See chap, xiii., infra. 

^■■'Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 429. 

^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, ed. 1801, vol. i., p. 69. 

^^Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 356. 

s^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 220. 

^''Kingdom of Ireland, ch. xiii., p. 442; ch. x., p. 421. Cf. Lecky, 
Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 94, 219, 220, 486. 



subscribed."®® In facft, Defenderism seems to have been, at 
least in its later developments, as hostile to the Catholic 
Church as the Church was to it. Archbishop Troy publicly 
condemned the movement ; the Pope's legate excommunicated 
the Defenders ; priests refused them the Sacraments, even at 
the hour of death.®^ Defenderism and Peep-o'-Day Boyism 
soon stank alike in the nostrils of every Irishman that loved 
his country or his creed. The demon of religious discord was 
being laid by the fast gathering spirit of friendly toleration. 
It was evoked by the results that followed upon the midnight 
raids of the rude, ragged, and illiterate Peep-o'-Day Boys. It 
shakes its gory locks in Ulster to this day. 


2. The Agrarian Trouble. — Referring to the disturbances 
between the rival facftions. Dr. Killen says that "jealousies in 
relation to the possession of land appear to have aggravated 
their hostility."'"' The Relief A(fls passed previous to that of 
1793 had placed Catholics pracftically on a level with Pro- 
testants as to rights in land. Killen continues :^^ 

"Before 1793 — when they [the Catholics] could not vote 
as freeholders — many of the Protestant aristocracy did not 
care for such tenants ; but when they obtained the eleiftive 
franchise [in 1793] this difficulty was removed, so that they 
became much more formidable as customers in the land 
market. The poorer Protestants, who lost their holdings 
when outbidden by these new competitors, felt deeply 
aggrieved ; and thus personal chagrin was added to the bitter- 
ness of sectarian antipathy." Killen's statements are confirmed 
by Lecky.-'^ The Protestant historian, Walpole, writing of the 
" persecutions" of 1792-1794, says that the objedl: of the Peep- 
o'-Day facftion "was to expel from the country those Roman 
Catholics who were scattered about amongst the Protestants 
of the North, and to occupy their holdings."^^ In the fourth 
chapter of this series the reader will have occasion to see how 
far this purpose was effedted when the Peep-o'-day Boys 

^^ Ireland from the Union, vol. i., introd., p. 14. Cf. Lecky, Eighteenth 
Century, vol. iii., p.p. 214, 520 (note): "M.P.", p. 73. 

s^Lecky, loc. cit., pp. 392 (note), 381, 512, 520 (note), 518. 

^^Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 358. 


^"^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 422, 424, 444, 445. 

^^Kingdofn of Ireland, ch. xiii., p. 441. Rev. W. Nassau Molesworth, 
a Church of England clergyman, says that the objedl of the Peep-o'-Day 
Boys and of the Orangemen was "to drive the Catholics out of the north- 
ern counties of Ireland by wrecking and destroying their houses." History 
of England from the Year 1830-1874:, vol. i., p. 376. 

33 C 


entered upon a wider scope of outrage and proscription, under 
the altered title of Orangemen. 


3. The Civil Authorities. — The bitterness of the quarrel 
between the two rival fadlions was seriously aggravated by the 
supineness or partiality of the civil authorities. We have 
seen from the evidence of the well-informed contemporary 
pamphleteer, " Observer," that " all their [the Catholics'] 
attempts to obtain legal redress had been unavailing," and 
that pracflically no attempt had been made to put down the 
early raiding of houses by the Peep-o'-Day Boys in Armagh 
county, where the Protestant population were in a strong 
majority, and where their leaders had under their control the 
forces of the Crown, According to Walpole, *' the authorities 
appeared content to permit the two fanatical parties to fight it 
out. Whenever they did interfere strong partiality was shown to 
the Protestants." ^* At one time a body of Volunteers was re- 
organised to quell the disturbances, but, says Walpole, " this 
only made matters worse, as they simply took the side of the 
Protestants [Peep-o'-Day Boys] , and occupied themselves in 
disarming the Defenders, while the Protestant magistracy 
showed a corresponding partiality," ^^ Lecky tells how, at 
this period, large numbers of Catholic peasantry were, on mere 
suspic_ion, or from caprice, transported on board a tender by 
Lord Carhampton and the Ulster magistrates, " without 
sentence, without trial, without even a colour of legality," ^^ To 
such men, says the same author, this fate " was more terrible 
than death, and if the measure produced for a time the tran- 
quility of consternation, it left behind it the seeds of the most 
enduring and vindicflive animosity." ^^ 

It is no difficult matter to foresee what would occur when 
two secret and rival associations, composed of the lower orders 
of the community, come into conflidt under such added circum- 
stances of mutual provocation as have been broadly outlined 
above. The Defender movement in Armagh was undoubtedly 
provoked by the house-wrecking and plundering which was 
carried out by the Peep-o'-Day Boys in a county where the 
Catholics were in a very decided minority. The later history 
of the two societies is ahopeless tangle of provocation, outrage, 
and retaliation, in which it is no longer possible to determine 

^^Kingdom of Ireland., ch. xv., p. 456. 

^^Ibid., ch. X., pp. 421-422. See also Killen, vol. ii., p. 357; Bowles 
Daly, Ireland in Ninety-eight, p. 50; Plowden, Historical Review, vol. ii., p. 
201, ed. 1803. 

^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p, 419. 

^''Ibid., p. 420. 



on which side lay the heavier weight of the grand total of 
guilt. One thing, however — which is very much to our present 
purpose — is placed beyond the reach of all doubt : The whole 
history of the Peep-o'-Day Boys utterly forbids the supposition 
that this early phase of Orangeism ever adopted what were in 
later years (and still are) alleged to be the groundwork prin- 
ciples of the society, namely, the defence of the Protestant 
religion, the maintenance of the laws, and the cultivation of 
virtue. The stigma of illegality, and of disregard of both 
human and divine law, attaches to that organisation from the 
day when the first oath-bound " crowd of miscreants" sallied 
forth under cover of darkness to do what, under the title of 
Orangemen, they were soon to carry out on a wider scale, and 
in the face of day — namely, to plunder and wreck the homes of 
the Catholic minority who lived amongst them. In the first of 
these midnight raids Ues the fons et origo of the Orangeism of 
our day. 



Chapter IIL 


Mahomedans date their era from the Hegira, or flight, of their 
prophet from Mecca. This event took place in or about a.d. 
622. Every historian is, however, aware that Mahometanism, 
as a separate religious system, had existed for many years 
previous to the prophet's precipitate retreat to Medina. The 
era of the children of Islam simply marks the period of a new 
departure, in which their system was consolidated and placed 
upon a formidable footing. Orangemen date their Hegira 
from the battle of the Diamond hamlet, which took place in 
Armagh county in 1795, between two bodies of Peep-o'-Day 
Boys and Defenders. Apart from the mere accident of name, 
Orangeism as a system had, however, existed for some years 
previous to the affray of the Diamond. The Peep-o'-Day 
movement was but the early or preparatory phase of the 
Orange association — the membership, general principles, and 
conducft of both being the same. This will be made 
abundantly evident in the course of the next chapter. After 
having defeated their opponents with great slaughter at 
Diamond Hill, the vicTtorious Peep-o'-Day Boys took the alias 
of Orange Boys or Orange Men. The new name did not, how- 
ever, bring with it any new principle of acftion. It simply 
occasioned a new departure in the old movement. It ushered 
in the lodge era of the Orange association, brought about a 
more complete organisation of the scattered Peep-o'-Day Boy 
forces, and opened out to them a wider field of a(51:ivity. 

The subjecft of the Diamond encounter calls for special 
notice in these pages : in the first place, because of the intrin- 
sically important place it occupies as the Hegira of the Orange 
movement; in the second place, because the popular lodge 
narrative of it is loaded with many incidents which are legend- 
ary or unsubstantiated, but which are nevertheless advanced 



with an enthusiastic positiveness of assertion by no means 
warranted by our present knowledge of that fateful conflidl. 

It is exceedingly difficult, in facft quite impossible, to arrive 
at a full and fair statement of the fadls of the Diamond en- 
counter. The narratives of the chief contemporary witnesses 
have been long out of print, are difficult of access to the 
general reader, contradicft each other in important particulars, 
and are open to the suspicion of party or religious bias. The 
chief contemporary witnesses for the Diamond affray are four 
— two Cathohc writers and two Orangemen. I shall give, in 
their chronological order, the main statements of the witnesses 
from each side. Out of the confused tale the reader may con- 
strucft for himself, as best he can, a history of the battle of the 


Catholic Witnesses. — The two chief Catholic writers who 
deal with the Diamond affair are Francis Plowden, LL.D., 
the historian, and Dr. McNevin, a United Irishman. Both 
were in the prime of life at the time of the conflicSl:, and are 
acknowledged authorities on the events of the period.^ Plow- 
den was a "loyalist," a careful collecftor of documents, and, as 
Mitchel says, was "as hostile to the Defenders as any Orange- 
man."^ His account of the Diamond affray of 1795, and of 
the events leading up to it, was published in 1803 and 181 1.' 
Dr. McNevin's narrative saw the light in 1807.^ 

Orange Witnesses. — The two chief Orange witnesses as to 
the affray of the Diamond Hill are two officers of militia — 

iThey are both extensively quoted by Lecky, Killen, and generally by 
historians who deal with the latter years of the eighteenth century. 

"^Hist. of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxix., p. 223, note. See, for instance, 
Plowden's Historical Review of the State of Ireland, vol, ii., part i., p. 386. 

3In his Historical Reviciv, London, 1803 (Vol. ii., p. 539); History of Ire- 
land from its Union with Great Britain, Dublin, i8ri (vol. i., introd., pp. 16 
sqq.) The dedication of both these works was accepted by the then Prince 
of Wales. 

4In his Pieces of Irish History, New York, 1807. Dodlor McNevin was 
born in 1763. The United Irish society and their "French principles" 
were, as has been seen, violently opposed by the Irish Catholic episcopate 
and priesthood. This opposition was to some extent repaid in kind. In 
his examination before the Selecfl Committee of the House of Lords, 
August 7th and 8th, 1798, McNevin was asked by Lord Kilwarden, if, in the 
event of a successful rebellion, he would have favoured the setting up of 
the Catholic Church as the established religion in Ireland. He replied : 
" I would no more consent to that than I would to the establishment of 
Mahometanism" (Madden's United Irishynen, 2nd Series, Vol. ii., p. 244). 
His charadter is thus detailed by a Protestant writer, Webb, in his Com- 
pendium of Irish Biography (p. 321) : " The most striking features of his 
charader were imperturbable coolness and self-possession, combined with 
remarkable simplicity of mind and singleness of purpose " 



Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker and Lieutenant-Colonel Verner/ 
They were — by a singular coincidence — the only witnesses 
examined on the events of that day by the Selecft Parliament- 
ary Conmiittee appointed in 1835 to inquire into the Orange 
society. Their statements are contained in the Minutes of 
Evidence submitted by the Committee to the House of 
Commons. Both were boys (Verner was 13 years old) at the 
time of the Diamond Hill encounter." Both were Orangemen 
from the first ; they were personal friends ; belonged to 
wholly Orange families ; held high office in the association ; 
and were notorious throughout their lives for the depth and 
adlivity of their acrimony against their Catholic fellow-country- 
men. Their story of the fight was told in 1835, forty years 
after the .event, at a time when Orangeism was on its trial 
before the British Parliament, and when the leaders of the 
society were straining every nerve to conceal the damaging 
evidence which eventually led to the suppression of the organi- 
sation. Colonel Blacker's account is the fuller, and — if he 
had been an unprejudiced witness — the more authoritative. 
A few fa(5ts as to these witnesses, their sources of information, 
etc., will the better enable the reader to gauge the value of 
their testimony. 


The personal bias of Lieutenant- Colonel Blacker may be 
inferred from the following fadts : 

1. He resided, according to his evidence, "in the neigh- 
bourhood of Portadown," the district which had been thrown 
into a fresh ferment of religious fanaticism by the intemperate 
discourse of Rev. Mr. Mansell, and which (according to Mr. 
Blacker) had furnished the principal contingent of outside 
Peep-o'-Day Boys who fought at the Diamond. 

2. In the course of his examination before the Selecft Par- 
liamentary Committee, he deposed that he was then (in 1835) 
within " about six weeks" of being forty years an Orangeman. 
This would give us " about" September 12th, 1795, as the date 
of his initiation. If this is corre(5l, our witness must have been 
sworn in a Peep-o'-Day Boy, the battle of the Diamond and 
the formation of the first Orange lodge not having taken place 
till September 21st of that year. Allowing, however, a suffi- 
ciently wide margin of time for the word " about," he would 
still have been among the very first to join the Orange associa- 

^Lieutenant-Colonel Verner was M.P. for Armagh county. He is, I 
think, the writer of A Short History of the Battle of. the Diamond, which 
appeared in 1863, when he would be 81 years old. 

'^Minutes of Evidence, Seledl Parliamentary Committee of 1835, Q. 135. 



tion. In his examination by the Seledl Committee he stated 
that he was Grand Master of the county of Armagh ; he was 
also Deputy Grand Master for Ireland^ 

3. He admitted before the Selecft Committee that he was 
" mixed up with the transacftions of the Diamond " to the extent 
of running into bullets "a considerable quantity of lead," and 
of having it " conveyed to the persons of my neighbourhood 
who were going to fight the battle of the Diamond." 

4. In the course of his evidence, he states that his "principal 
information" was derived from Captain Atkinson, " a^Ao took a 
principal part in the transaction [the Diamond affray] that led to 
the origin of the Orangemen ; and also several others of a 
lower rank in society, who were mixed up with these transactions.'^ 
The Captain Atkinson referred to was one of the first Orange- 
men.^ In conjundlion with his two friends, Verner and Blacker, 
he took a leading part in the discreditable police-court proceed- 
ings which followed the destrucftion of the Catholic village of 
Maghery, in 1830, by the notorious band of Orangemen 
known as the " Killyman Wreckers."" It will thus be seen 
that both our witness and his informants are wholly Peep-o'- 
Day or Orange. Nay more ; one and all of them had, quite 
apart from political or secStarian feeling, the strongest personal 
interest in putting the most favourable construdlion upon the 
sanguinary and peculiarly suspicious-looking affair in which, 
apparently without the loss of a single drop of blood, they con- 
trived to take the lives of some forty-eight Defenders. 

5. Readers of Colonel Blacker's evidence before the Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835," ^^^^^ be forcibly struck with his 
unwillingness to state, even on oath, facfls which, though suffi- 
ciently notorious, might be deemed damaging to the Orange 
institution. When examined as to the early forms and subse- 
quent alterations of the society's oaths, he was seized with that 
sudden paralysis of memory, and that mysterious hesitancy of 
speech, which have afflicfled Orange witnesses, when questioned 
on lodge secrets, from the days of the Diamond down to the 

''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 9282. See also list of Irish Grand Lodge 
oflficers at beginning of Appendix to Third Pari. Report. Another member 
of the same family — Stewart Blacker — was also Deputy Grand Master, 
and Rev. J. S. Blacker, Grand Chaplain. Yet another, Captain William 
Blacker, was a Grand Officer of the first Grand Lodge ever formed, in 
1797. The Dublin University Magazine for April, 1835, says that all Dean 
Blacker's sons were among the first members of the Orange society. 
Quoted by "M.P.," p 82. 

^Hist.o/Orangeistn, by " M.P.," p. 19 note; of. pp.- 175, sqq ; cf. Lecky, 
Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 55. 

^See this chapter, infra. 

'^oMinutes of Evidence, Qq. 8930-8955, 9280 sqq., 9387-9394. 



Melbourne Post Office Inquiry of 1896," He " could not 
recollecft" the alteration made in the Orange oath about 1821.^^ 
He garbled one oath about which he was questioned, by sup- 
pressing its most notorious feature — that of conditional loyalty. 
And yet he had been an Orangeman from the very foundation of 
the society. The oath referred to, as well as its subsequent 
alterations, were in the printed books of rules, and are 
published in an Appendix to the Parliamentary i?^j^oy^5 of 1835. 
During his forty years of membership he must have adminis- 
tered it, or seen it administered, to considerable numbers of 
persons in the great Orange county of which he had been so 
long Grand Master. We have no reason to believe that 
Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker's memory was clearer, or his 
candour greater, with regard to events which took place at 
the Diamond hamlet in 1795, and which he had learned almost 
altogether on hearsay from interested parties. 

6. Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker's partiality as a magistrate* 
in cases in which Catholics and Protestants were concerned, 
had long been a subjecft of bitter complaint. He warned the 
Government in 1832 that Stanley's Party Processions A(5t of 
that year would only have the effecfl of producing three Orange 
processions where there had been only one before. ^^ He did 
what lay in his "power to bring about the fulfilment of his 
prophecy. According to the evidence of a Protestant magis- 
trate, Colonel Blacker " gave three cheers" to a number of 
Lurgan Orangemen who were being prosecuted for having 
taken part in an illegal procession." In his evidence before 
the Select Parliamentary Committee of 1835 he unhesitatingly 
swore that the Orangemen of Ulster are more peaceable in 
their demeanour on each succeeding twelfth of July than they 
are on the other 364 days of the year ! ^' In 1833 he w^as 
called upon by the Government for an explanation of his con- 
du(5\ as a magistrate at Portadown. In reply, he wrote a letter 
pradlically threatening armed resistance if Orange processions 
were to be interfered with.^'' The very next year (1834) 
Government found it necessary to dismiss him from the Com- 
mission of the Peace. On the 12th of July of that year he had 

11 See Preface. 

'i-'^ Report of English Seleft Committee. Cf. Lecky, Ireland in th» 
Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 426, note. Deputy Grand Chaplain Rev. 
Mortimer O'Sullivan, who had been an Orangeman only a few years, 
could, under examination, easily remember both the oath of conditional 
loyalty and the subsequent alterations in it (Qq. 588, sqq.). 

''■■'■Minutes of Evidence, Sele6l Pari. Committee, and Appendix D2, p. 179 

''■■^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 8827. 

is/M., Q. 8975-8976. 

i^The letter is quoted in " M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, p. 186. 



openly countenanced and addressed an illegal procession of 
some 2,000 Orangemen at Portadown. In the words of Captain 
Patten (a Protestant Police Inspecflor), " he and his brother 
magistrates [including Colonel Verner] acSted as if no such 
law as the Anti-Processions A6\. were in force," Riots ensued. 
The names of the offenders — who were Orangemen — were 
taken down and sent to Dublin Castle. The Attorney-General 
ordered that informations should be taken, and the incriminated 
brethren returned for trial. Mr. Blacker positively refused to 
take the informations. Nay more : he prevailed upon the other 
magistrates to do the same, and thus for a time succeeded in 
frustrating the law, and screening his fellow-Orangemen from 
justice. An inquiry was instituted by the Government into 
Lieutenant-Colonel Slacker's condu(ft, and he was dismissed 
from the bench." This was in 1834, ^^^^ than a year before he 
told his tale of the Diamond encounter to the Seleeft Committee 
of the House of Commons. Lieutenant-Colonel Verner 
"resigned the magistracy in disgust at Colonel Blacker's 
dismissal." So runs the Report of the English Selecl; Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835. 

Like Colonel Blacker, Colonel Verner belonged to an 
Armagh family who were intimately bound up with the 
leadership of the Orange society from its very foundation, 
and who were moreover notorious for their aiflive persecution 
of the Catholic minority who lived about them. In his 
evidence before the Sele(5l Committee (of which he and two 
other Orangemen were members) Colonel Verner described 
himself as a "Deputy Grand Master of the Institution, and 
Deputy Grand Master of the county of Armagh. "^^ Those who 

^''Minutes of Evidence, Irish Report. 

isAccording to the Dublin University Magazine for April, 1835, the five 
Verner brothers were among the first initiated into the Orange society 
(quoted by "M.P.," p. 82.) Col. Verner was one of these. In his evidence 
before the Selecfl Committee, he said that his eldest brother was "the first 
Grand Master" cf the Orange society. Thomas Verner was Grand Master 
in 1800. James Verner, the Colonel's father, was an attorney. The con- 
temporary writer, Plovvden, says of him; "He was then [in 1795], as he 
still [1811] continues to be, prominently conspicuous for depressing and 
persecuting the Catholics." He banished 96 Catholic families from an 
estate left to his younger son (a minor.) His corps of yeomanry, says 
Plowden, on their way to church, fired into a congregation of Catholics at 
Tartarahan, killing and wounding several persons. On their return they de- 
molished the chapel (Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., introd., pp. 47- 
48, tiote; also pp. 25, and 124, note.) Mr. Wilson, an English Protestant, 
who was a magistrate in Ulster, accused James Verner's sons (of whom 
the Colonel was one) of having headed the party of Orangemen who, with- 
out provocation, shot at Constantine O'Neil, a Catholic hatter, and burned 
his house, in 1806. Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., ch. xii; Plowden, 
Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., introd., p. 48, 7iote. 



have toiled through the voluminous Minutes of Evidence taken 
by the Parliamentary Committee (Irish) of 1835 will recall his 
connedlion with illegal Orange processions: his highly repre- 
hensible conduift as a magistrate and yeomanry officer, in per- 
mittinga body of armed Orangemen (the " Killyman Wreckers"), 
without the slightest interference, to deliberately invade and 
wreck, before his very eyes, and almost at his own door, twenty- 
eight houses in the Catholic village of Maghery.^^ This was 
in November, 1830, less than five years before he gave his 
version of the battle of the Diamond to his brother members 
of the Seledl Parliamentary Committee. He had received 
due notice of the intended outrage. In his corps of armed 
yeomanry he had at hand the means of preventing it. He 
preferred to remain an interested spedliator, while his brother 
Orangemen destroyed the homes of twenty-eight of his 
Catholic neighbours. He subsequently refused to identify a 
single one of the Orange rioters, although they belonged to his 
own neighbourhood, and had carried on their work of des- 
trucftion from start to finish in his presence and in the open 

A more glaring instance of his partiality to Orangemen and 
of his animosity towards Catholics, was soon given by the 
gallant colonel. The gang of Orange "Wreckers" were 
acquitted in the face of the clearest evidence of their guilt, 
largely through his instrumentality. The bench was care- 
fully packed by Orange magistrates. Among them sat our 
other witness for the Diamond affray, Lieutenant-Colonel 

'^ Two official reports of this bad business were sent to the Govern- 
ment, one by Mr. Sergeant Perrin, the other by Mr. J. W. Handcock, J. P., 
both Protestants. Both reports strongly inculpate Col. Verner. In his 
own depositions (given in Appendix to JReport of Seledt Committee, 154), 
he says that he never "called upon any of the persons mentioned by him 
to arrest or stop any of the party, nor did he on his return desire them to 
do so." Mr. Perrin condemns the refusal of the Colonel and others to 
identify the Orange wreckers, who, he said, were "guilty of felony." He 
concludes: " I am further of opinion that Colonel Verner appears not to 
have performed his duty as a magistrate at Verner's Bridge, in order to 
disperse (as he was bound and required by law) the persons there tumul- 
tuously and unlawfully assembled, and compel them to depart to their 
habitations ; that he did not take the measures and precautions proper 
for that purpose, which he was empowered and required by law to take, 
and which the result evinces to have been necessary for the preservation 
of the peace and the threatened breach thereof; and that he is liable to be 
prosecuted at the suit of the Crown, by information, for such (as it seems 
to me) criminal a et;lect of his duty." The Colonel was not prosecuted. An 
instrudlive account of Mr. Verner's share in this transadtion is given in 
the Minutes 0/ Evidence of the Seled Parliamentary Committee, Qq 8678 
and following. The matter was ventilated in Parliament. See Hansard, 
3rd Series, vol. xxxix., p. 662 Cf. note 20, p. 43. 



Blacker. The court was presided over by none other than 
Mr. Atkinson (Q. 9397), the leader of the Peep-o'-Day Boys who 
fought at the Diamond, and Mr. Blacker's principal informant 
for the events of the " great day." The same bench of magistrates, 
on the same day, sentenced to three months' imprisonment several of the 
homeless Catholics of Maghery for having damaged the drums of the 
Killyman Orange Wreckers to the estimated value often shillings. The 
loss inflicfted on the unresisting CathoHc villagers amounted to 
about ;^6oo.'" Three members of this bench of magistrates — 
Blacker, Verner, and Atkinson — are our chief Orange inform- 
ants as to the facfts of the battle of the Diamond, which took 
place in 1795 between a body of Catholics and the very men 
who, on the evening of the conflicft, originated the first Orange 

Stronger evidence could scarcely be needed of the marked 
partiality of those who told the story of the Diamond encounter 
in 1835. But there are certain further fadts in connecflion 
with Colonel Verner which quite discredit him as a witness, 
apart altogether from the strong secftarian warp of his feelings. 
The facfts are recorded in the Minutes of Evidence, and the 
Appendix thereto, which were laid upon the table of the House 
of Commons by the Selecft Parliamentary Committee of 1835, 
of which he was himself a member. 

According to the official report of Captain Duff, a Protestant 
Inspecftor of Police, and the sworn evidence of this same Captain 
Duff,asergeantofpoliceand two privates, Colonel Verner, "wear- 
ing orange and purple," headed (with others) a procession of 4,000 
to 5,000 Orangemen at Dungannon on the 27th of April, 1832.'*' 

fJoOn November 19, 1830, the Killyman Orangemen marched with 
band and banners through the Catholic village of Maghery. According 
to the Protestant magistrate, Mr. Handcock, the villagers were " in high 
good humour," and asked the Orangemen to play some tunes. The request 
was complied with, and the processionists went on their way unmolested. 
On the following day (Saturday, the 20th), the Killyman " Boys'' again 
reached the village, on their return march. Some villager asked them to 
play " St. Patrick's Day," which is not a party tune, but is recognised, 
even in the army, as the national air of Ireland. The Orange bandsmen 
repHed by striking up one of their party tunes, "The Protestant Boys." 
A scuffle ensued, the brethren were routed, and their drums, etc., damaged 
to the estimated value of ten shillings. On the following Monday they 
returned to Maghery, heavily armed. Rev. Mr. Donaldson, a Protestant 
clergyman, swore that he counted 49 muskets, bayonets, etc. In revenge 
for the defeat of Saturday, the Orangemen wrecked 28 houses in Maghery. 
There was no resistance. See Perrin's official Report, in Irish Report, 
pp. 174-178; Mr. Handcock's evidence, Qq. 8014 sqq. ; also Qq. 7840 sqq. 
The Maghery prisoners were released at the instance of Lord Charlemont. 
Minutes of Evidence, Seledt Pari, Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges, Qq. 
8732. 8733. 

'^'^Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Report of 1835, Q^- 7864, sqq., 8046-8056. 



A scuffle ensued in consequence. Pistol-shots were fired by 
the processionists, one of the bullets breaking the arm of a 
Catholic named Peter Tully. According to the official report 
and the sworn depositions of the witnesses just referred to, a 
great meeting of the Orange processionists was next held, of all 
places, in the court-house of Dungannon. Colonel Verner entered 
and took part in the proceedings. He was called upon by Lord 
Caledon^^ (a Protestant, and Governor of the county), and by 
the Lord Chancellor, for an explanation of his conducfl. The 
gallant colonel's defence was — an alibi. He denied that he had 
been in the procession, that he had been decorated, that he had 
been at the Orange meeting in the court-house at Dungannon ! 
In the face of this denial, we have, not merely the sworn depo- 
sitions of eye-witnesses mentioned above, but the resolutions of 
the court-house meeting referred to, which were subsequently 
published, and which are to be found at Q. 8056 of the Parlia- 
mentary Committee's Report. One of the resolutions runs as 
follows : " That the thanks of this Grand Lodge are eminently 
due, and are hereby given, to Brother William. Verner [the 
Colonel] , Brother James Verner, and Brother John Ellis, for 
their attendance here this day.'"^ 

In plain terms, Colonel Verner was convicfted of rank pre- 
varication. This was in 1832. We have no evidence to show 
that in the interval between that date and 1835 (when he told 
his hearsay tale of the Diamond) he had outgrown the use of 
that ready resort which makes the characfler of Tartuffe even 
more contemptible than it is amusing.^* This leaves his friend 
and CO- Deputy Grand Master, Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker, as 
pradlically our only Orange witness for the incidents of the 
Diamond Hill affray. I shall, nevertheless, include Colonel 
Verner's scanty statements in my narrative. The reader can 
take them for what they are worth. 


In dealing with the question of the reliability of Colonels 

^^Ibid.. Qq. 8052, 8055. 

23In his examination before the ParHamentary Seledt Committee of 
1835, Colonel Verner admits that he was at the procession, wore an Orange 
handkerchief, attended the court-house meeting, and received a vote of 
thanks. (Qq. 96O5-9671). 

24At a later date, in 1837, when taken to task by Under-Secretary 
Drummond for having, at an eledlion dinner, proposed the toast of " The 
Battle of the Diamond" (he being a J. P.). he professed not to know what 
battle was referred to. The Under-Secretary referred him to his (the 
Colonel's) evidence before the Parliamentary Committee of 1835. The 
Colonel was struck off the roll of magistrates and off the list of Deputy- 
Lieutenants of Tyrone county. The matter was ventilated in Parliament, 
when not one member ventured to defend Colonel Verner's adtion. See 
Hansard, 3rd Series, vol. xxxix., pp. 634, 687. 



Blacker and Verner as witnesses for the events of the battle ot 
the Diamond, we must not lose sight of the special and peculiar 
circumstances in which their account of the rise of Orangeism 
was given to the world. Their story of the Diamond affray 
was given at the most critical and disastrous period in the 
history of Orangeism, when it was on its trial, so to speak, 
for life or death, and when, of all times, its leaders felt the 
most urgent need of having its origin justified, its existence 
vindicated, its virtues — if it possessed any — brought into 
strong rehef, and its failings covered over with a friendly cloak 
of silence. 

The defeat and disaster of the Orange society came in 
1835, when it was nearing the summit of its highest triumph. 
It had invaded the highest offices of the State. In spite of 
stringent military regulations, it had corrupted the fidelity and 
interfered with the discipline of a great part of the army. It 
had in its ranks, according to its secretary. Swan, some 220,000 
men in Ireland, and (by the Report of the English Parliamentary 
Committee), 120,000 to 140,000 in England, This great body 
of men were *' mostly armed," and ready to shoulder their 
muskets and march at the command of the Imperial Grand 
, Master, H.R.H. Ernest, Duke of Cumberland. This autocrat 
of the society used the Royal arms, presided in regal state at 
the Grand Lodge meetings in London, and was styled by the 
English Grand Lodge " the nearest to the throne." ^ William 
IV. was visibly nearing the close of his days. Both in and out 
of Parliament the Orange association was stated to be engaged 
in a vast conspiracy to alter the succession to the throne — to 
set aside the just claims of the Princess (now Queen) Vidloria, 
and to place the crown of England on the head of the Imperial 
Grand Master, Cumberland, " the hoary tyrant of Hanover," 
as O'Connell designated him. The whole condudl: of the 
Orange leaders, and the correspondence of their Deputy Grand 
Secretary, Fairman, lent a strong support to the charge of 
conspiracy, while the subsequent revelations showed that the 
organisation, by reason of its aims, methods, secrecy, and vast 
resources of armed physical force, was a standing menace to 
the peace of the Empire. Parliament took alarm. A Selecfl 
Parliamentary Committee "^^ was appointed to inquire into and 

2 5Draft address of the English Grand Lodge to Carlton Club, given 
in English Seled Committee's Report, p. 17. 

26The Irish Seledt Committee (appoimed by the House of Commons), 
consisted originally of twenty-seven members. Thirteen of these were 
Conservatives (belonging to the same political party as the Orangemen), 
some twelve were Liberals, and one or two were neutral. Among the 
Conservative members of the Committee were Colonel Verner (our wit- 
ness), Sir Edmund Hayes, and Mr. Maxwell. These were all officers of 



report upon the origin, working, and tendency of the Orange 
society in Ireland. The disquieting revelations made before 
the Irish Committee soon led to the appointment of another 
Seleift Committee, to inquire into Orangeism in Great Britain 
and the colonies. Orangemen in Parliament opposed the 
motion tooth and nail — they had already had more than 
enough of inquiry. The motion was, nevertheless, carried by 
a large majority.^' The Selecft Committees were composed 
almost altogether of Protestants of every shade of political 
opinion, and included several leaders of the incriminated 
association. The alarm of the Grand Lodges knew no bounds, 
and efforts were put forth to suppress information that might 
be damaging to the institution. 

(rt) The Duke of Cumberland, the Imperial Grand Master, 
refused point blank to give evidence. 

(b) At least one of the books of the Grand Lodge was 
mutilated before being handed over to the Parliamentary 
Committee of Inquiry.-^ 

(c) Others were withheld altogether. Our witness, Colonel 
Verner, was seized at a critical moment with the typical 
Orange loss of memory, and twice " forgot" to bring before 
the Committee the early rules and regulations of the society, 
which he admitted were in his possession. Fairman, the 
Deputy Grand Secretary, defied the House of Commons, 

the Dublin Grand Lodge, and prominent leaders of the Orange society. 
(See list of officers given in Appendix to the Minutes of Evidence of the Irish 
Seledt Committee.) Twenty-two witnesses were examined by this Com- 
mittee. Of these, eight were officers of the Dublin Grand Lodge, or lead- 
ing members of the Irish Orange association ; four were officers of police 
(Protestants) ; two were Lords Lieutenant of counties (Protestants) ; 
three were magistrates (Protestants) ; two lawyers (one a Catholic) ; 
two farmers (Protestants) ; and one a dodor. They all resided in the 
districfts where the Orange society was most adtive. The witnesses were 
mostly adherents of the Church of England, which furnished by far the 
greater bulk of the membership of the lodges. All, with the exception 
of the Orange leaders, expressed opinions strongly condemnatory of the 
institution. The number of Grand Officers on the Irish Seledl Committee 
(which was almost exclusively Protestant) may possibly account for the 
fadt that only Orange witnesses — -one of them a member of the Committee 
— were asked to give an account of the Diamond affray. The same cir- 
cumstance may also have some connedtion with the fad that, as the Right 
Hon. R. L. Shiel said in the House of Commons, the order of the proceed- 
ings were inverted : the Orange party were allowed to open the case them- 
selves ; for a number of days none but Orange witnesses were examined ; 
many of them were recalled, Rev. M. O'Sullivan, Deputy Grand Chaplain, 
appearing before the Committee five times. Shiel's speech in the House, 
August II, 1835, in his Speeches, ed. 1868, p. 120; see also Minutes of Evi- 
dence, first, second, and third Irish Repsrts 

'2'^Hansard, third series, vol. xxx., pp. 58, 239. 

'^^See chap, vi., infra. 



which had peremptorily ordered him to produce a certain letter- 
book of the institution. He was committed to Newgate, and 
absconded. Other Grand Lodge records also mysteriously 

(d) All the Orange leaders, with but one exception 
(according to the English Committee's Report) positively de- 
clined to give any information as to the oaths, secret signs and 
passwords, etc., in use in the society. •''° 

(e) The Duke of Cumberland, Lord Kenyon, and other 
members of the inner circle of the association, were (as may 
be seen by the Mimites of Evidence and the English Com- 
mittee's Report) convidled out of their own mouths of palpable 
prevarication in connecftion with the illegal spread of Orangeism 
in the army.**^ 

In the sixth and fifteenth chapters I shall have occasion to 
enter more fully into the desperate and unscrupulous efforts 
which were put forth by the Orange leaders in 1835, to justify the 
existence of their association, to minimise, destroy, or remove 
from the official eye the evidence of its misdeeds, and to break 
the force of the blow which temporarily blotted the society 
out of existence in England, and which destroyed for ever the 
vast political power it had previously enjoyed. 

Such were the circumstances under which the story of the 
battle of the Diamond and of the rise of Orangeism was told 
by two s^ach violent partisans as Messrs. Blacker and Verner— 
forty years after the event, upon hearsay, without cross-exam- 
ination, and without even an attempt to elicit a scrap of 
evidence on the subjecft from witnesses from the other side, 
many of whom must have been at the time still living. In the 
circumstances, it would be folly to expecft that the account 
given by the two friends, Messrs. Blacker and Verner, is a fair 
and full narrative of the incidents that took place on that 
autumn day, September 21st, 1795, in the hamlet of the 
Diamond in far-off Armagh. We shall, however, give their 
version of the affray, checking it here and there, as occasion 
may arise, with the earlier narratives furnished, under de- 
cidedly less suspicious circumstances, by the certainly not 
more prejudiced witnesses, Plowden and Dr. McNevin. 


State of Parties in the Diamond distri6l. — Reference has 
already been made to the numerical superiority and complete 


■*iSee chap, xv., infra. The Duke's false statement was made in 
letter addressed by him to the Chairman of the ParHamentary Committee. 



political ascendency of the Protestant population in the county 
of Armagh at the period of which I write. The districft in 
which the Diamond hamlet was situated, seems to have been, 
at least for some time, free from the more serious forms of 
outrage and retaliation which marked the " ancient village 
feud " of the Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defenders in other parts of 
the county. Blacker, in his evidence'^ on the subjecft says 
that he " was at school till just before this period," but that 
he understood from others that the Protestants of the districTt 
[who were well armed and in a stronger numerical majority] 
" were in the most persecuted state, that they were worried 
and beaten coming from fair and market upo7i various occasiojis." 
No more serious form of disturbance is laid by this witness 
to the charge of the Defender party in his neighbourhood. 

McNevin says : " An affray near Lough Brickland, on the 
borders of the counties of Down and Armagh, and another at 
the fair of Loughgall [in the very heart of the Diamond distrii51:] 
preceded and led to " the engagement of the Diamond.*^ 

According to the contemporary writer, Plowden, there had 
been a lull '.n the disturbances between the Peep-o'-Day Boys 
and the Defenders in Armagh, when the feud was " rekindled 
by secret agents, and converted into a ferocious warfare of 
religious contention."^* In his evidence before the Sele(5l 
Committee of 1835, Mr. Christie, a Quaker eye-witness, who 
Hved near the spot, deposed that this fresh outbreak took 
place in 1794 and continued up to and after the battle of the 
Diamond in 1795 ; that it originated in the Churchill distridt 
(the seat of the Verners) and the Portadown districfl (in which 
the Diamond is situated) ; that it took the shape of attacks by 
night on Catholic houses, "a considerable number" of which 
were wrecked, burned, etc. ; and that he knew of no Protes- 
tant homes having been wrecked at this period.^ Lecky 
grants that " in the latter part " of 1795, the Defender disturb- 
ances, though far from ended, " appear to have perceptibly 
diminished."^*' Plowden relates how the newly aroused sec- 
tarian animosity was fanned into brighter flame by what we 
may term by anticipation an Orange sermon, delivered at Porta- 
down by Rev. Mr. Mansell, on the first of July, 1795. Accord- 

3 2Blacker's evidence will be found in the Irish Committee's Minutes, 
Qq. 8930-8955; Verner's in Qq. 80 to 83, 92, 106-108. 

'•^'■^Pieces of Irish History, p. 114, New York, 1807. 

'•^'^Hist. of Ireland from its Union, vol i,, Introd., p. 17. McNevin, in 
his Pieces of Irish History, says that the Defenders were quiet from 1789, 
onwards, until roused by " fresh aggressions" (p. 48 ; cf. p. 112). 

^^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5589. See also Qq. 5566 sqq., 5573-5574. 

5585. 5587- 

'^^Irclani in the Eighteenth Century, vol., lii. p. 3S8. 



ing to this author, the Portadown clergyman so wrought upon 
the feeUngs of his hearers, that some of them forthwith pro- 
ceeded to assault the Catholics of the district, and wreck their 
houses, concluding the day's work with the murder of two 
unoffending peasants who were cutting turf in a bog. We 
shall in due course have occasion to see that some of the most 
sanguinary riots in Orange history — as the great Belfast civil 
war of 1857 — were in some measure due to the intemperate 
utterances of clergymen of the type of the Rev. Mr. Mansell. 
According to Plowden, the re-awakened fury extended to 
Lurgan, where some Catholics were assaulted, " but no lives 
were lost in the affray."^^ The local Catholic body thereupon 
met, and were admonished by their leading co-religionists 
not to take "retaliation or revenge into their own hands." 
"Pacific and loyal resolutions," Plowden continues, "were 
entered into by the Catholics, and liberal Protestants were 
invited to do the like. A thousand copies of these resolutions 
were circulated through the districft with the happiest effedl. 
Tranquility and order were preserved for a considerable time 
on one side of the Bann."=*^ In a footnote (p. 19) he adds : " So 
powerful were the effetTis of these resolutions, that not one 
individual Catholic or Protestant from Lurgan was engaged in 
the battle of the Diamona. 


The parties engaged. — It seems clear that the Peep-o'-Day 
Boys and the Defenders who took part in what Verner and 
Blacker term the first skirmish of the Diamond, were gathered 
altogether, or almost altogether, from the surrounding districSls. 
{a) In describing (on hearsay) the Defenders who had come 
into Loughgall, Blacker impHcitly associates them with the 
fair-day and market-day brawls which (he had heard) had 
"upon various occasions" taken place in the surrounding dis- 
tricts while he was away at school, {h) He distinguishes those 
who took part in the preliminary skirmish from another body 
of Defenders, "not belonging [as he understood] to the county 
of Armagh," who subsequently came upon the scene, and fought 
what is termed the battle of the Diamond, on the 21st of 

Referring to the local Defenders, Blacker said : " I believe 
their principal intention was to disarm the districft." He does not 
accuse them thus far of any outrage, nor does he hint that they 
even attempted to carry their supposed intention into effedl. 
Had such a large body of men as he describes seriously 

37piowden, op. cit., p. 17. 
»»/bid , p. 18. 



attempted to " disarm the districfl," they would undoubtedly 
have got possession of many of "the great number of oic 
volunteer firelocks" which (he said) " were in that quarter oi 
the country," which, he believed, " were almost exclusively 
Protestants'," and which created such havoc among the ill- 
armed Defenders at the encounter of the Diamond, Mr. 
Christie, the Quaker eye-witness referred to above, describes 
the Catholics of these distridls as being armed at this time 
with nothing better than " pitchforks and swords, and things 
of that sort," and as having no leaders. ^^ Mr. Blacker adds 
that the Protestants [Peep-o'-Day Boys] of the districTt: 
assembled to oppose the Defenders, and there came in to 
their assistance Protestants from the other districts of the 
county, particularly from the neighbourhood in which I reside" 
[Portadown, the residence also of Rev. Mr. Mansell] . 

In reply to a question put by the Seledt Committee as to 
the date of the Diamond encounter, Col. Blacker said : " Mon- 
day was the 2ist^the great day — and I think it began about 
Wednesday before, in September, 1795. The parties skirmished, 
if I may use the expression, for a day or two, without much 
harm being done." His friend, Lieutenant-Colonel Verner, 
also said "there had been a previous skirmish."^" 

Plowden, writing in 1811, after referring to the friendly 
spirit evoked by the a(ftion of the Catholic body at Lurgan, 
thus describes the preliminary encounter of the Diamond : 
" But in the neighbourhood of Portadown [he is recounting 
the effedlis of Rev. Mr. Mansell's sermon] the animosity of the 
opposite parties [the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the Defenders] 
had taken so decided a turn that the Defenders remained 
under arms for three days successively, challenging their 
opponents to fight it out fairly in the field rather than harass them 
with iiiurderous nodurnal visits.''-^ 

McNevin, in the work previously quoted (p. 114) says: 
"For some days previous to this [the Diamond affray] both 
parties had been preparing and collecfting their forces ; they 
seized the different passes and roads ; had their advanced 

^^Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Seledt Committee of 1S35, Qq. 5623-5625, 

4=0 /bid., Q. 82. 

^''-Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 18, ig ; cf. Historical 
Review, vol. ii., p. 202. The Diamond is situated "in the neighbourhood 
of Portadown." Deputy Grand Chaplain Rev. Mortimer O'Sullivan, in 
his evidence before the Seleil Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges, testifies 
to the challenge which preceded the first engagement, but declines to say 
from which side it came (Qq. 577). He also states that the parties to this 
conflidl were, as far as he could learn, the Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defenders 
(Qq. 579, 581). Col. Blacker states that the same "Protestant" body 
fought in both of the Diamond encounters. 



posts, and were in some measure encamped and hutted. No 
steps were, however, taken by the magistrates of the county, 
nor, as far as can be inferred from any visible circumstances, 
even by the Government itself, to prevent this religious war, 
publicly levied and carried on in one of the most populous, 
cultivated, and highly improved parts of the kingdom. ^^ Nay 
more : the party which provoked the hostilities, and which the 
event proved to have been the stronger [the Peep-o'-Day Boys] 
boasted of being connived at, for its well-known loyalty and 
attachment to the Constitution.^^ Whatever may have been 
the motives for this ina(ftion, certain it is that both parties 
assembled at the Diamond, to the amount of several thousands. 
The Defenders were the most numerous, but the Orangemen** 
had an immense advantage in point of preparation and skill, 
many of them having been members of the old Volunteer 
corps, whose arms and discipline they still retained, and 
perverted to very different purposes from those that have 
immortalised that body. The contest [the first skirmish] was 
not long or doubtful ; the Defenders were speedily defeated, 
with the loss of some few killed and left on the field of battle, 
besides the wounded, whom they carried away." He then 
goes on to describe the truce and the subsequent battle of 
September 21st.** 

"the great day." 
After describing the preliminary encounters between the 

*2This statement as to official supineness is fully borne out by 
Walpole, whose words have been quoted above. 

*3This was their boast, as the author points out. In this respedt there 
was a strong resemblance between them and the Orangemen, who, as we 
shall see in subsequent chapters, were loudest in their protestations of 
loyalty at the periods when their adtions were most disloyal and seditious. 
We have seen above how some of the magistrates connived at the turbu- 
lence of the Peep-o'-Day Boys, for party purposes, just as the early 
Orangemen were encouraged for political reasons. 

**See chapter ii., supra, note 76. 

*^Colonel Blacker corroborates in 1835 many of the statements pub- 
lished by McNevin in 1807 : (a) as to the general fadt of the massing of 
the rival forces ; (b) as to their relative numbers (both here agreeing with 
Plowden) , (c) as to their armament. Blacker was asked by the Com- 
mittee: "Which [party] appeared to be best armed? I should say the 
Protestants were the best armed, and I will state the reason : there were a 
great number of old volunteer firelocks in that quarter of the country, and 
I believe they were almost exclusively Protestants ' " {d) "A day or two" 
of "skirmishing" with such weapons, and by such large bodies of men, 
would naturally result in the few deaths and wounds which were inflidled, 
according to McNevin, on the badly armed Defenders, "without much 
harm being done" to the Peep-o' -Day Boys. This was precisely what 
happened at the battle of the 21st. {e) Blacker refers to the Peep-o'-Day 
Boys as "marching," "counter-marching," etc., as if they still retained 
some idea, at least, of military form. 



Peep-o'-Day Boys and the Defenders, Blacker continues (his 
evidence here being altogether hearsay or conjecflure) : 

" Mr. Atkinson on one side, and the priest of the parish on 
the other, did their best to reconcile matters, and thought they 
had succeeded, as the Defenders on their part had agreed to go 
away, and the Protestants to return to their houses. I believe 
both parties were sincere at that time in their wish to separate, 
and that they were going to their respecftive homes. [A few 
questions further on, he says: "I have already stated that the 
parties (plural) who were^zrs^ at variance Aai separated"^ . At that 
time, as I understand, a large body of Defenders, not belonging 
to the county of Armagh, but assembled from South Mona- 
ghan, and, / believe, Cavan and Tyrone, came down, and were 
much disappointed at finding a truce of this kind made, and 
were determined not to go home without something to repay 
them for the trouble of their march. In consequence, they 
made an attack upon the house^^ of a man named Winter, at a 
place called the Diamond : it is a meeting of cross-roads, where 
there are three or four houses. Word was brought to the 
Protestants, who were on their way home, of what had taken 
place. They returned to the spot, attacked the Defenders, and 
killed a number of them." The attack was moreover delivered, 
according to Mr. Blacker, without remonstrance, parley, or 
warning. The Peep-o'-Day party, he says farther on, " counter- 
marched at once, they returned in haste, and the road led them 
to the top of this hill that overlooked the part where the De- 
fenders were [as he had heard] at full work, and they imme- 
diately fired on them'' [the Defenders] . 

Thus, as far as Col. Blacker's evidence goes, {a) the Peep- 
o'-Day Boys made the first bodily attack, fired (without warn- 
ing) the first shots, and drew the first (and apparently the only) 
blood shed at the Diamond on the 21st September, {b) He (or 
rather his informant) nowhere inculpates the Defenders who 
were parties to the truce with the violation of it, or with any 
complicity in the proceedings which subsequently took place 
at the hamlet of the Diamond on the 21st. {c) He does not 
state, but only surmises or " understands" that the other body 
of Defenders who subsequently came up from a distance (after 

*6No mention is made of attack on any individual, but only on a house 
The nature of the attack is not specified, nor of the injury done (if any), 
nor of the provocation (if any), or other incidents which led immediately 
to the alleged attack on this particular house alone in the hamlet. McNevin 
says (vide infra) that, after the preliminary skirmish, when the first body of 
Defenders had gone home, armed bodies of the Peep-o'-Day party still 
remained about the Diamond. "M.P." quotes the narrative of an eye- 
witness, who states that the attack on Winter's house consisted in the 
breaking of a window. 



the first Defenders had gone away), either knew anything of 
the truce, or deliberately set it aside." 


McNevin's account of the affair (published in 1807) runs 
as follows : 

" After this [the first skirmish] , in consequence of the 
interference of a Catholic priest, and of a country gentleman, 
a truce between both parties was agreed upon, which was 
unfortunately violated in less than 24 hours. The two bodies 
that had consented to it for the most part dispersed ; the dis- 
tricft, however, in which the battle was fought, being entirely 
filled with Orangemen*^ ; some of them still remained em- 
bodied, but the Catholics [Defenders] returned home. In the 
course of the next day, about 700 Defenders from Keady, in a 
remote part of the county, came to the succour of their friends, 
and, ignorant of the armistice, attacked the Orangemen who 
were still assembled. The associates of the latter, being on 
the spot, quickly coUecfted again, and the Defenders once more 
were routed. Perhaps this mistake might have been cleared 
up, and the treaty renewed, if the resentment of the Orange- 
men had not been fomented and cherished by persons to 
whom reconciliation of any kind was hateful. The Catholics 
after this transaction never attempted to make a stand, but the 
Orangemen commenced a persecution of the blackest dye."*^ 

According to Col. Blacker's informants, the Peep-o'-Day 
party fired the first shots on the 21st of September. The 
witness was asked . " Was there firing from the other side 
too?" He replied: "/ believe there had been, but I do not 
know of my own knowledge." We have already seen that the 
chief weapons of the Defender party were pitchforks, etc. If 
they fired or fought at all, their efforts must have been of a 
very harmless nature. The engagement, according to our 
Orange witness, did not last above fifteen minutes. He reached 

*'''Col. Verner, in his account of the Diamond affair (Q. 82), makes no 
mention whatever of the two different bodies of Peep-o'-Day Boys, and 
thus contrives to leave the wrong impression that the Defenders who had 
agreed to the truce were the very ones who afterwards violated it. He 
admits (Q. loS) that his information is altogether from hearsay. Lecky 
apparently accepts Col. Blacker's version of the Diamond encounter and of 
the circumstances that led to it, to the utter exclusion of the other author- 
ities referred to above. Several points referred to above regarding the 
Colonel's evidence, and to his untrustworthiness as a witness, seem to have 
quite escaped the notice of the distinguished Unionist writer, whos^ 
political creed is so much in accord with that of the Orange brethren 
Ireland in the Eighteenth Centiay, iii., 426; of. p. 421. 

*8See chap, ii., supra, note 76. 

^^ Pieces 0/ Irish History, New York, 1S07, pp. 114-115. 



the field as the last " dropping shot or two" from the Peep-o 
Day Boys were being fired, and this is what he saw : The 
Defenders in full flight ; the dead bodies of (at most) thirty of 
their number lying on the field — others were being conveyed 
away upon carts; not a Peep-o' -Day Boy that he could hear of was 
killed, and he mentions no wounded on their side.^ Besides 
their dead, a very large number of Defenders must have 
been more or less seriously wounded by the "considerable 
quantity of lead" which our witness had " run into bullets" and 
conveyed to the Peep-o'-Day Boys of his neighbourhood " who 
were going to fight the battle of the Diamond ?"^^ 

On the day of this encounter — September 21st, 1795 — the 
first Orange lodge was formed, " in the village of Diamond," 
as Colonel Verner positively states (Q. 82). His friend, Colonel 
Blacker, says he " understood it was formed in the house of a 
man named Sloan, in the village of Loughgall," close to the 
scene of that day's red strife. 


With our present knowledge of the facfts surrounding the 
Diamond Village encounter, the following points may be taken 
as sufficiently established : 

I. The affray took place between Peep-o'-Day Boys ana 

soMusgrave, the Orange writer, says that forty-eight Defenders were 
slain, "and a great number were wounded" {Memoirs of the Different 
Rebellions, ed. 1801, vol. i., p. 68.) See also Haverty's History of Ireland, 
p. 731, note; ICillen's Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, ii., 359. 

511s Colonel Blacker tripping here? His whole evidence bears the 
traces of the verbal revision permitted in such circumstances. Taken 
literally, the words quoted above would be curiously significant of deliber- 
ate preparation for massacre. In another part of his evidence he describes 
the Peep-o'-Day party from Portadown as suddenly returning from their 
homeward march, "to fight the battle of the Diamond." Here— if his 
(evidently revised) statement is to be taken literally — they went "to fight 
the battle of the Diamond" only after the grim and slow preparation of 
having large quantities of lead turned into bullets. What he terms "the 
battle of the Diamond" took place on the 21st of September. In his 
evidence he carefully distinguishes this from the preliminary skirmishing 
already described. 

5 2See Plowden; McNevin (Pieces of Irish History, p. 113); Walpole 
(Kingdom of Ireland, p. 456); Killen (Eccles Hist, of Ireland, ii., 359, 363); 
Miss Martineau's History of the Peace : Barry O'Brien {Thomas Drutnmond, 
and Fifty Years of Concessioris) ; Lecky {Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 21C); 
Froude {English in Ireland, in., 177); Bouverie-Pusey {The Past History of 
Ireland); the evidence of Mr. Christie and of Deputy Grand Chaplain 
^O'SulUvan before the Parliamentary Seledl Committee of 1835 (see note 41, 
supra). There is nothing in the evidence of Cols. Blacker or Verner that 
can set aside the praftically unanimous verdidt of every reliable writer of 
note who has dealt with this subjeft. The two last-mentioned witnesses 
use the word "Protestants" instead of " Peep-o'-Day Boys," being, like 



2. The Peep-o'-Day Boys' movement, as known in history, 
was originally an aggressive organisation direcrted against 
Catholics. The Defender movement was originally called into 
existence as an association of defence against the depredations 
of the Peep-o'-Day Boys, Both associations arose and reached 
their highest degree of violence in Armagh county, where the 
Protestant population was numerically, socially, and politically, 
in a decided ascendency. ^^ 

3. The events which led up to the " battle" of September 
21, 1795, followed upon a period during which there had been 
a lull in the Defender and Peep-o'-Day disturbances. Our 
Orange witnesses gave no account of the causes which led to 
so marked and apparently sudden a change in local feeling, 
and sent neighbours out to slay each other on the hillsides. 
Plowden and Christie trace it mainly to certain serious outrages 
committed on the Catholic minority in and about the districfts 
where the Blackers and the Verners resided, and in which the 
Diamond is situated.^* Their accounts are circumstantial and 
sufficient. Plowden's has been in possession since 181 1, and it 
is in no important particular contradicfled either by McNevin 
or Christie, or our two Orange witnesses. 

4. There is no evidence that the first party of (local) 
Defenders either intended to, or did, disarm any part of the 
district ; or that they took part in what is known as the battle 
of the Diamond ; while there is positive evidence — which is 
nowhere contradidted — that they did not violate the truce 
entered into on their behalf. 

5. There is no evidence to show that the second party of 
outside Defenders either knew anything of the armistice, or 
deliberately violated it.^^ 

6. The first shots in the encounter of the 21st were evidently 
fired by the well-armed Peep-o'-Day Boys, and " at sight." 
There is no evidence to show that the shots were returned, 
that anything in the nature of a " battle" took place, that any 
resistance whatever was offered by the Defenders, or that the 
affair was anything more than a mere slaughter of fugitives. 
The suspicious one-sidedness of the encounter has led many 
persons to refer to it as the " massacre" of the Diamond. 

"later Orangemen" generally, ashamed of the undoubted connedion of 
their society with the Peep-o'-Day movement. Cf. Lecky's Eighteenth 
Century, vol. iii., pp. 428 note, 444, 445. See chap, iv., infra. 

s^See chap, ii., supra. 

s*McNevin, whose words have been quoted above, states that the 
hostilities which led to the Diamond affair were provoked by the Peep-o'- 
Day Boys. 

ssMcNevin, quoted above, states positively that the second party of 
Defenders were "ignorant of the armistice." 



7. The " battle" of the Diamond was not fought for the 
defence of "the Protestant reUgion," nor for an " open Bible," 
nor for the maintenance of the laws or Constitution, nor for any 
of the principles set forth in the " basis" of the Orange society. 
These were afterthoughts. " Their [the early Orangemen's] 
successors have added [to the original Orange platform] the 
principles of the Reformation." So says Grand Chaplain 
Heathershaw (Vicftoria), in the course of a lecture on the 
Orange society, which was reported in the Vi(^ovian Standard 
of August 31, i8g6. 

8. The Diamond encounter and the incidents leading to it, 
no matter how they may be viewed, afford no justification for 
the wholesale proscription carried out immediately afterwards 
against the Catholic minority in Armagh county, or for the 
enacftment of similar scenes in the coimties round about ; much 
less for the extension of a somewhat similar policy to the rest 
of Ireland ; less still for the perpetuation of a guerilla warfare 
against the Catholic body in the British Isles and in the 
colonies of the Empire down to the present day. In 1837, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Verner, at an elecftion dinner, gave as a 
toast, ''The Battle of the Diamond." He was sternly repri- 
manded by Under-Secretary Drummond, and dismissed from 
the magistracy, for having commemorated such "a lawless and 
most disgraceful conflicSl:." ''" The matter was ventilated in 
the House of Commons. The Under-Secretary's acftion was 
supported by the House. No one ventured to defend Colonel 
Verner's toast, and the incident only served to show that, in 
the opinion of Parliament, it was an indefensible and discredit- 
able proceeding to commemorate such a disgraceful encounter.^' 
And yet this was the conflicfl out of which Orangeism, in its 
present shape, direcftly arose. " In commemoration of that 
[the Diamond] vidtory," says the Orange historian, Musgrave, 
"the first Orange lodge was formed in the county Armagh."*^* 

s^Letter to Col. Verner, August 22, 1837, given in full in Barry 
O'Brien's Thomas Drummoml. See note 24, supra. 

S'^Hansard, 3rd Series, vol. xxxix., pp. 634, 687. 

^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, vol. i., p. 70, ed. 1801. Colonel 
Blacker, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Seledl Committee of 
1835, describes the Diamond battle as "the transaction that led to the 
origin of the Orangemen." Various lodges are named in honour of this 
" battle," massacre, or fadion-fight, as, for instance, the Diamond lodge (No. 
62), North Melbourne. 



Chapter IV* 


" For the purpose of taking off the stigma of delinquency, the 
appellation of Peep o'-Day Boys was changed to Orangemen." 
So writes Plowden. The alias was assumed — if Col. Verner's 
statement is true — on the blood-stained field of the Diamond.' 

iMusgi;ave, the Orange historian and apologist, would lead the reader 
to suppose that the particular society now under consideration, bore the name 
of Orangemen before the battle of the Diamond. His statement is not 
supported by a scrap of proof, and is contradiifted by all the evidence we 
have regarding its history. Musgrave's Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in 
Ireland appeared in 1801. The Protestant writer, Lowndes — himself a man 
of strong sedlarian prejudices — describes it as "a party work, abounding in 
misrepresentations" [Bibliographer's Manual of E?iglish Literature; Bohn, 
1S57-1864). Webb (a Protestant author) says in his Compendium of Irish 
Biography, (p. 356) : "He [Musgrave] displayed such animosity against the 
Catholics, and outraged public decency so much by his defence of flogging 
and free-quarters, that, according to a long notice of the work in the 
Annual Biography, 'the Irish Government at length deemed it necessary to 
disown all connexion with the author, and publicly disclaimed the idea of 
affording him either patronage or protedlion in future.' " In the Cornwallis 
Correspondence appears a letter written by Musgrave (November ist, 1799) 
to Secretary Cooke, hinting that if a place were secured for him, he would 
vote for the Legislative Union. His venality was rewarded by his appoint- 
ment to the lucrative position of Colleftor of the City of Dublin Excise 
(Plowden's Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd. p. 107). Musgrave's 
Memoirs of the Different Rebellions were dedicated to Lord Cornwallis (the 
Viceroy). On the appearance of the work. Lord Cornwallis (March 24th, 
1801) strongly condemned "the contents and nature of the work," and 
repudiated the dedication. His communication to Musgrave is given by 
Plowden, loc. cit., p. loS. Sir Jonah Harrington, in his Personal Sketches, 
says of Musgrave that he was " generally in his senses" "except on the 
abstradt topics of politics, religion, martial-law, his wife, the Pope, the 
Pretender, the Jesuits, Napper Tandy, and the whipping-post." Plowden 
describes his Memoirs of the Different Rebellions as "an undigested heap of 
acrimonious falsehood and obloquy" {Ireland from its Union, vol i. 
p. 107). Lecky refers in strong terms to Musgrave's "usual violent 
and evident partisanship" {Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, iv., 457, 
note), to his "malevolent partiality" {ibid., v., 55), and (iii., 286 



This favourite device of the wrongdoer was not inappropriate 
in the present instance, as the extent of the slaughter might 
naturally be expecT:ed to rouse even the partisan Government of 
the day from its state of masterly ina(ftion with regard to the 
doings of the rival facftions in Armagh. The change of name, 

1 . Brought no change in the membership of the association ; 

2. It brought no such alteration in its guiding principles or 
methods of action as would constitute it a new association. 
All the charadteristic features of the Peep-o'-Day association- - 
raiding for arms, house-wrecking, plundering, etc. — continued 
without intermission, but on a vaster scale and in a more 
thorough-going fashion than before. This was effeifted by the 
institution of the lodge system, which was originated on the 
night of the Diamond affair. It linked together into a united 
and formidable whole the hitherto scattered or loosely knit units 
of the Peep-o'-Day association. Briefly : Orangeism and Peep- 
o'-Dayism had the same membership, the same principles and 
condudl. They differed in certain details of organisation, and 
in the extent of their depredations. 

In his examination before the Parliamentary Select Com- 
mittee of 1835, Mr. Christie, a venerablemember of the Society 
of Friends, who was born in 1771, and was an eye-witness of 
what he relates, says that the Break-of-Day party merged into 
Orangemen^; as far as he knew, the title " Break-o'-Day [or 
Peep-o'-Day] Boys" " completely subsided" after the forma- 
tion of the Orange society. " I never heard it," said he, 
" appHed to any people after the Orangemen had lodges, as 
they termed it." The early Orangemen, he added, were 
of the same class as the Break-o'-Day Men. " The same 
people," said he, " that made use of intemperate language 
towards the CathoHcs whilst the Break-o'-Day business 
existed were the same people that I saw afterwards walking in 
the Orange processions."'' Plowden, a contemporary historian, 
describes the Orange institution as "but an extension of the 
society of Peep-o'-Day Boys."^ Mr. Sinclair, a Church of 
England magistrate of Tyrone county, who remembered the 
time of the battle of the Diamond, deposed on oath before 

note) says that he "represents the extreme anti-CathoHc spirit produced by 
the rebellion of 1798." Rev. James Gordon, the Protestant historian of 
that rebellion, in the second edition of his work, uncompromisingly exposes 
the unreliabilitv of Musgrave's Memoirs. Gordon frankly admits his own 
partiality for his creed and political party, and states in the preface to his 
second edition (p. x) that his sons were Orangemen. 

'^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5576-7. Cf. chap, iii., sitf^ya. note 41. 

^Ibid, Qq. 5165, 5578. 

*Hist. oj Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 85. 



the Selecft Committee of 1835 that he always understood the 
Peep-o'-Day Boys to have merged into the Orange associa- 
tion.^ Even Col. Verner admitted to the Sele6l Committee of 
1835, that, after the formation of the Orange society, the Peep- 
o'-Day Boys did not continue as such.^ " On that day" 
[of the battle of the Diamond], says Plowden, "the Peep-o'- 
Day Boys dropt that appellation, and assumed the denomina- 
tion of Orangemen ; and then was their first lodge formed."' 
According to the testimony of Deputy Grand Chaplain 
Rev. Mortimer O'Sullivan, referred to above*^, the fadlions 
who opposed each other in the Jirst encounter of the Diamond 
were the Defenders and the Peep-o'-Day Boys ; while 
Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker, as we have seen, distin(ftly states 
that it was the same body of Protestants who fought at the 
Diamond in both engagements with the Defenders. Plowden 
points out "that as late as 1799, the Irish Grand Lodge 
adopted the following rule (the fifth of the ' Secret Articles'), 
which is charadleristic of the Peep-o'-Day movement : ' We 
are not to carry away any money, goods, or anything else from 
any person whatsoever, e^^ept arms and ammunition, and those 
only from an enemy. ""^ McNevin in his Pieces of Irish History 
(p. 113) states that the Peep-o'-Day Boys "adopted the name 
of Orangemen." He regards the two associations as identical, 
and in common with many other writers, frequently applies 
the name " Orangemen" to the Peep-o'-Day Boys.'" William 
Sampson, an Ulster Protestant and barrister, another con- 
temporary witness, in one of his speeches, given by Madden," 
refers to the oaths " of those called ' Peep-o'-Day Boys,' 
afterwards * Orangemen.' " In November, 1796, Bernard Coile, 
of Lurgan, presented a memorial to the Lord Lieutenant. In 
the course of that document he referred to his efforts in " pro- 
moting the printed resolutions of the Roman Catholics of his 
and the adjoining parish, and enforcing by all his influence the 
observance of these resolutions, in hopes, by setting an example, 
of goodwill and moderation, to disarm the animosity of a fadfion 
denominated Peep-o'-Day Boys, and since called Orangemen, 
whose only objecfl was the persecution of the Catholics. "^'■^ A 

^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5165. 

^Ibid, Q. 161. 

''Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 19; cf. his Historical Review, 
vol. ii., p. 539, ed. 1803. 

^Chap. iii., note 41. 

^The rules of 1799-1800 are given in full in Plowden's History of Ire- 
(and from its Union, vol. i., after Introdudlion ; also in Appendix to 7"/u>i 
Report of Seledl Parliamentary Committee of 1S35. 

^°See chap, ii., supra, note 76. 

''■'^United Irishmen, Second Series, vol. ii., p. 378. 

i^This document is given in Plowden, and in "M.P.'s" History of Orange- 



work published in 1797, and which, according to Lecky, was 
" written with considerable knowledge," details the proceed- 
ings of "a party of Orangemen having assumed this new 


In his Ireland in the Eighteenth Century,^* the Protestant 
historian, Lecky, says : " At first, as we have seen, Orangeism 
was simply a form of outrage — the Protestant side of the 
fa(5tion which had long been raging in certain counties of the 
North among the tenants and labourers of the two religions — 
and the Protestants in Armagh being considerably stronger 
than the Catholics, Orangeism in that county had assumed the 
character of a most formidable persecution." In another part 
of the same work he states that "the Orange disturbances" in 
Ulster, in 1795 and 1796, "were a continuation or revWal of the 
war between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the Defenders,"^® and 
that "the Peep-o'-Day Boys ultimately merged into Orange- 
men."^" He points out that " the later Orangemen have been 
extremely anxious to disclaim all connection with the outrages 
of 1795 and 1796, which they at*ibute to the Peep-o'-Day 
Boys;" but he adds, " on the other hand, the depredators 
called themselves, and were called by others, Orangemen, and 
the Peep-o'-Day Boys rapidly merged into Orangemen, and ceased 
to exist as a separate body."^'' Mr. Bouverie-Pusey, who describes 
himself as a Protestant of strong convicftions, writes: "We 
have spoken before of the ' Peep-o'Day Boys' and the ' De- 
fenders.' At this jundture the former, Jiow called Orangemen, were 
employed iu expelling every Catholic in three or four of the 
Ulster counties. "^^ A similar account of the connecftion 
between the two associations — or rather, between two phases 
in the development of the same association — is given by the 
writer of the article on " Orangemen" in Chambers' Encyclopaedia 
(ed. 1865). Killen also takes it for granted that the early 
Orangemen were simply Peep-o'-Day Boys under a " new 
designation."^^ Barry O'Brien, in his Eifty Years of Concessions 

ism, pp. 53-54. The purport of the resolutioria referred to is given in chap, 
iii., supra. 

^^A View of the Present State 0/ Ireland, and 0/ the Disturbances in that 
Country, quoted by Madden, United Irishmen, Third Series, vol. ii., Appendix 
5, p. 331. See chap, ii., note 68, supra, p. 28. 

i*Vol. iv., p. 47. 

^^Ibid., vol. iii., p. 445. 

^^Ibid., vol. ii., p. 511. 

^''Ibid., vol. iii., p. 429, note. 

^'^The Past History of Ireland, p. 106. 

^^Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., p. 360. 



to Ireland,"^ describes Orangeism as " the final development of 
the Peep-o'-Day Boys' movement." Rev. William Nassau 
Molesworth, a Church of England clergyman, says in his well 
known work that the Orange society" gradually took the place 
of another Protestant confederacy, the members of which were 
called Break-of-Day Men."^^ It would be easy to multiply 
quotations to the same effedt from the works of both Protestant 
and Catholic writers. 

"an atrocious banditti." 
We have already seen, from the evidence of our old Quaker 
friend, Mr. Christie, who was an eye witness of what he relates, 
that the same class that had previously been Peep-o'-Day 
Boys were precisely those who swelled the ranks of the 
organisation after it had assumed the title of Orange. In a 
previous chapter I have shown that the Peep-o'-Day Boys 
were recruited from the lowest class of Protestants. It will 
follow from what has been said that the rank and file of the 
early Orangemen likewise belonged to the lower strata of 
society. Musgrave, the Orange historian and apologist, grants 

20Chap. v., p. 115. 

^^History of England from the Year 1830-1874, vol. i., p. 376: Against 
this pradlically unanimous finding of competent authorities, it has been 
urged that the Peep-o'-Day Boys were Presbyterians, while the first 
Orangemen were exclusively Episcopalians. To this we reply: i. Many 
Presbyterians joined the Peep-o'-Day movement, especially in the counties 
of Cavan, Down, etc., but the association was nowhere exclusively 
Presbyterian. 2. The Presbyterians who had become Peep-o'-Day Boys 
were reconciled to the Defenders in the middle of 1792, more than three 
years before the battle of the Diamond (Memoirs of Theobald Wolfe Tone, i., 
97; ii., 392). 3. According to Killen (ii., 356), the first Peep-o'-Day Boys 
who began the plunder and wrecking of Catholic houses were " Protestants 
of the Established Church." Musgrave admits that Lurgan and its 
vicinity "abounds with Protestants of the Established Church." Memoirs, 
vol. i., p. 55. 4. Armagh was the most Episcopalian county in Ireland 
(see chap, ii., supra, p. 23). Plowden states that the Armagh Peep-o'-Day 
Boys were largely members of the State Church — he habitually uses the 
word "Protestant" in this sense. (Ireland from its Union, Introd., p. g; 
cf. chap, v., infra). Atkinson, the leader, and the Blackers, the abettors, 
of the Peep-o'-Day Boys who fought at the Diamond, all belonged to the 
Established Church. The rank-and-file of their followers also evidently 
did; [a) because Col. Blacker, in his evidence before the Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835, described them as "Protestants," a word commonly 
used then, and even still, in Ireland, to distinguish Episcopalians from 
Presbyterians (see this chapter, infra) ; (&) because the first Orange lodge, 
formed *'to commemorate that viftory" was composed exclusively of 
members of the State creed: it is unlikely that Anglicans would thus 
celebrate a vidtory won by Presbyterians, and exclude the latter from such 
celebration; [c) Musgrave, the Orange writer, says that "the lower class 
of Protestants of the Established Church stood forward at this perilous time ' 
— the period of the Diamond affray (Memoirs, vol. i., p. 69. See chap. iii. 
note 52, supra. Cf. chap, v., infra). See Irish Report, Q. 4089. 



so much. Writing of the Diamond period, he says that " the 
lower class of Protestants of the Established Church stood 
forward at this perilous time."^^ The Protestant statesman, 
Grattan, in his oft- quoted speech to the Irish Parliament on 
the early Orange outrages, describes the brethren as "a banditti 
of murderers," " a violent mob," " an atrocious banditti."-* 
Lord Gosford (a Protestant, and Governor of the county of 
Armagh, where they first arose), calls them "alawlessbanditti," 
"an ungovernable mob." The well-informed contemporary 
author of A View of the Present State of Ireland (1797), quoted 
above, includes both Peep-o'-Day Boys and Orangemen under 
the sweeping title of " a banditti of plundering ruffians." 
Plowden states that the small proportion of Presbyterians who 
were sworn into the Orange society were " chiefly of the 
lower orders," and that " few, if any Presbyterians of inde- 
pendence entered the [Orange] societies."^* 

Killen, the Presbyterian historian, says: " Nothing can be 
more evident than that the original Orangemen were the very 
scum of society, and a disgrace to Protestantism."^ Lecky, 

^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, vol. i., p. 69, ed. 1801. 

23This speech is given in Killen (vol. ii., pp. 364, 365); and in full in 
"M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, pp. 46-49. 

^'^Irelatid from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 66. Cf. chap. v. infra. 

"^^Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 359, note; cf. p. 363. Froude has 
been apparently understood by some to say that the original Orangemen 
were "all that was best and noblest in Ireland." But even Froude does 
not commit himself to such a daring statement. His words are: "The 
same evening [of the battle of the Diamond] was established the first 
lodge of an institution which was to gather into it m succeeding years all 
that was best and noblest in Ireland" f English in Ireland, vol. iii., p. 177, 
ed. 1877). Subsequent chapters of this publication will show how far this 
statement is in accord with fadt. On the very same page (177) Froude 
refers to the Diamond as "a village in Tyrone." Lecky says that this work 
of Froude's (The English in Ireland) ' ' is intended to blacken to the utmost the 
character of the Irish people, and especially of the Irish Catholics^' (Eighteenth 
Century, vol. i., p. 13, note. Cf. pp. 46, 307, 375, 376, 378, etc.). Lecky 
has also said of this work of Froude's: "His book [The English in Ireland] 
has no more claim to impartiality than an election squib" (quoted by Justin H. 
McCarthy in his Outlines of Irish History, p. 78). Judge Morris, in his 
valuable work, Ireland: 1642-1868, (Cambridge: University Press, 1896) 
dismisses Froude's English in Ireland with the brief remark: "This must 
be called a bad book." Froude, in the work of his here referred to, states 
that the rebels on their march to Arklow, in 1798, "halted at every mile to 
hear Mass" (iii., 480) ! This author's deep-seated antipathy to Catholics so 
affedted his every statement regarding them, that, as a reviewer says, he 
"leaves us hopelessly struggling to distinguish between his history and his 
hysteria" (Athenaum, February 22, 1896). This is the number which 
described him as " a fashionable preacher gone wrong"). For fuller and 
more detailed proof of his hopeless unreliability as a historian, the reader 
is referred to W. A. O'Conor's History of the Irish People, vol. ii., pp. 
180-187; Father Burke's Lectures; to Prendergast's Cromwellian Settle- 



in his Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, thus refers to the 
membership of the early Orange movement : " The upper 
classes at first generally held aloof from the society" ; ^^ for a 
considerable time it appears to have been almost confined [like 
the Peep-o'-Day movement] to the Protestant peasantry of 
Ulster."^® " It was," says he again, "a popular and demo- 
cratic movement, springing up among the lowest classes, and 
essentially lawless.'" " What he terms " the Orange disturbances 
in Ulster," were begun " after the battle of the Diamond by the 
Protestant rabble of the county of Armagh."^ Elsewhere^'* he 
describes them as a " tumultuous rabble," and refers to the 
spirit of bigotry which animated them.^" The writer of the 
article on " Orangemen" in Chambers' Encyclopaedia (eds. 1865, 
1879) says that the association " began among the ignorant 
peasantry." The society, which, left to itself, might have gone 
the way of the Whiteboys, the Hearts of Oak, the Hearts of 
Steel, etc., received a fresh lease of life from the use which 
Pitt made of it in effe6ting the great projecfl of his later policy 
— the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 
In days of peace, or with a united people, such a projecft was 
sure to end in failure. Disunion was a condition essential to 
success and an unsuccessful rebellion, highly favourable to it. 
The reader will learn, as we proceed, a few of the sad details 
of the manner in which the Orange party carried out the 
hateful work of setting creed against creed, and of goading the 
unhappy people into insurrecflion. Under the favouring smile 
of a friendly Government, the worst crimes of the " banditti 
of plundering ruffians" were either connived at or openly 

mcnt; to Mitchel's 1641 : Reply to the Falsification 0/ History by James Anthony 
Froude (Glasgow, Cameron and Ferguson) ; Killen's Ecclesiastical History oj 
Ireland (ii., 357, etc.) ; the stridluresof Professor Goldwin Smith and others 
on his Henry VIII. (e.g. in the North American Review ior December, 1894) • 
the strong and general condemnation of his Lectures on the Council of Trent 
(e.g. Athenaum, April 11, 1896, and Dxiblin Review, Odtober, 1896). See, 
especially, the article in the Contemporary Review for March, 1878, in which 
the distinguished scholar. Dr. Freeman (Regius Professor of History, 
Oxford University), exposes, in scathing fashion, Fronde's "fanatical 
hatred" of the Catholic Church, his "constant inaccuracy of reference 
and quotation," his "endless displays of ignorance," and — to use no 
stronger term — his general historical blundering and thoroughgoing un- 

"^^Irelandin the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 428. Rev. W. Nassau 
Molesworth, in his History of England (vol. i., p. 376), says: "At first the 
Orangemen all belonged to the lower orders." 

"^"^ Ibid., vol. iv., pp. 47-48. 

^^Ibid., vol. iii., pp. 429, 445. 

^^Ibid., vol. iv., p. 54. 

^°Ibid., vol. iii., pp. 428, 429. The narrative of the early Orange 
outrages occupies pp. 429-446. 



encouraged by Aifts of Indemnity. Henceforth — till Pitt's 
policy was effe(5led — the way to favour, place, and power lay 
through religious strife and persecution. In spite of what 
Killen terms "its discreditable origin," persons in the higher 
walks of society joined the ranks of the Orange organisation in 
1797, and still more in 1798, and the work of forcing the people 
into insurrecftion went merrily on.**^ 


The early Orange society was, as we have seen, simply the 
Peep-o'-Day association with a new name and a more complete 
organisation. Its characfter may be gauged from that of the 
class who filled its ranks, but still more from the wild orgie of 
violence, plunder, outrage, and proscription with which the 
reign of Orangeism was inaugurated. Plowden gives the 
following, on the authority of others, as the original oath of 
the Orangemen : 

" I, A.B., do swear that I will be true to King and Govern- 
ment, and that / tvill exterminate the Catholics of Ireland, as far as 
lies in my power.'" ^''^ 

Killen, the Presbyterian historian, says : " The accuracy 
of this representation has been denied ; but there are strong 
grounds for believing that it is substantially true; and the 
condudt of the Orangemen during the first year of their exist- 
ence under the new designation, abundantly justified the 
suspicion that they had entered into some such horrid 
compacSt."^^ The evidence for the existence of an oath of 
extermination against Catholics may be summarily stated as 
follows : 

I. Bernard Coile, of Lurgan (county of Armagh), declared 
to the Irish Under-Secretary, Cooke, that such an oath was 
taken. ^* 

2. Bernard Cush, of the 5th Dragoons, swore before a 

=*iCompare Killen, Eccles Hist, of Ireland, ii., 365, 367. Lecky dis- 
tinguishes between the earlier and "the later Orangemen" (iii., 428, note); 
and says (p. 448) that it was "at a later period" that the country gentry 
joined its numbers. The noted Orange family of the Beresfords, and their 
connedlions and dependents, are said to have held at least one-fourth of all 
the positions in Ireland (Lecky, Eighteenth Century, iii., 273-274). The 
accession of the gentry in no wise changed the violent characfler of the 
society [Ibid., iv. 49). 

^"^Historical Review of the state of Ireland, vol. ii., part i., p. 537; Hist, of 
Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 54. The dedication of both these 
works was accepted by the then Prince of Wales. 

'^^Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., pp. 359, 360. 

3*Plowden's Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 58. 
Killen describes Coile as "a respedtable Roman Cathohc merchant of 
Lurgan, against whose life a conspiracy had been formed" (ii., 361, note). 



magistrate, and also deposed on oath before Under-Secretary 
Cooke at Dublin Castle, " not only that such was the form ol 
the Orangeman's oath, which was tendered to him, and which 
he refused to swear, but which five others concerned in the 
conspiracy had adlually subscribed to in his presence.""^ 

3. In the course of the examination of Arthur O'Connor 
(a Protestant) before the Committee of the Commons, August 
16, 1798, the witness referred to the countenance shown by 
Government to the fanaticism of the Orangemen. One of 
the Committee repHed: "Government had nothing to do 
with the Orange system, nor their oath of extermination.'" 
O'Connor rejoined: "You, my Lord [Castlereagh] , from the 
station you fill, must be sensible that the Executive of any 
country has it in its power to colledl a vast mass of informa- 
tion ; and you must know from the secret nature and the zeal 
of the Union, that its Executive must have the most minute 
information of every ac5l of the Irish Government. As one of 
the Executive, it came to my knowledge that considerable 
sums of money were expended throughout the nation in 
endeavouring to extend the Orange system, and that the Orange 
oath of extermination was administered. When these facfts are 
coupled, not only with the general impunity which has been 
uniformly extended towards all theacfts of this infernal associa- 
tion, but the marked encouragement its members have received 
from Government, I find it impossible to exculpate the 
Government from being the parent and protecflor of these 
sivorn extirpators.''^^ In this challenge to Lord Castlereagh, 
O'Connor takes it for granted that the Irish Government was 
fully cognisant of the Orange oath of extermination. The 
remark of a member of the Committee, quoted above, implies 
such knowledge on their part. This supposition is still further 
strengthened by the facSt that the witness's positive statements 
on the subjedl were allowed to pass uncontradicfted by the very 
member of the Committee whom they most concerned, and to 
whom they were pointedly and defiantly direcfted — namely, 
Lord Castlereagh. In the thirteenth chapter of this volume 
the reader will find abundant evidence of the truth of the 
statements made by O'Connor regarding the alliance between 
the Government and the Orange society. 

4. The authoritative contemporary pamphlet already 
referred to — A View of the Present State of Ireland — published 
in 1797, gives the following as the form of early Orange 
" purple" oath : " In the awful presence of Almighty God, I, 
A.B., do solemnly swear that I will, to the utmost of my 

•'' 5 Plowden , loc. cit. 

^^Madden, United Irishmen, Second Series, vol. ii., p. 320. 

65 E 


power, support the King and the present Government ; and 1 
do further swear that I will use my utmost exertions to exter- 
minate all the Catholics in the kingdom of lyelaud.'"'^'' 

5. William Sampson, an Ulster Protestant barrister, in his 
Memoirs (published in 1807), gives also what he terms the 
" purple oath" of extermination, which, he says, was taken by 
the early Orangemen.^^ In a speech, delivered at Phila- 
delphia, he refers to the " exterminating oaths" of the 

The reader who takes an interest in this grim subjedl: may 
find, in the following words of contemporary authorities, 
evidence corroborative of what has been stated above : 

6. About three months after the battle of the Diamond, 
Lord Gosford, Protestant Governor of this same county of 
Armagh, wrote to Secretary Pelham regarding the outrages of 
the early Orangemen. In the course of his letter he says : 
*' The Protestant and Catholic inhabitants were inflamed to 
the highest pitch of animosity ; but the former were greatly 
superior in strength, and made no scruple of declaring, both hy 
words a7id adions that could not he misunderstood, a fixed intention to 
exterminate their opponents." The writer is referring to the month 
of Ocftober, 1795, a few weeks after the formation of the first 
Orange lodge. ^° 

7. Brigadier-General Knox was an Ulster Protestant, and, 

•■^■^Quoted by Plowden, Historical Review, vol. ii., p. 537, ed. 1803. The 
author of the pamphlet referred to above was, according to Madden, an 
Ulster magistrate. See chap, iii., supra, note 68. 

38Sampson, though professionally, as barrister, in the secrets of the 
United Association, was not a regular sworn member (Madden's United 
Irishmen, Second Series, pp. 348-349, 358). He also gives an "amended 
oath," attributed to Thomas Verner, which concludes as follows; "that I 
will not make, or be at the making of a Roman Catholic an Orangeman, 
or give him any offence, unless he offends me, and then I mill use my endeavours 
to shed the last drop of his blood." The conclusion of the "amended test" 
runs as follows : 

"Can you write your name? I can. 

"With what sort of a pen? With the spear of life, or Aaron's rod, 
that buds, blossoms, and bears almonds in one night. 

"With what sort of ink? Papist blood." 

s^Madden, United Irishmen, Second Series, vol. ii., p. 378. 

*°Quoted by Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 431, 
note. The fifth rule of The early Ordinances of the Armagh Orangemen (printed 
in 1801 by King, of Westmoreland Street, Dublin) concludes as follows: 

"Our first principle, shall be, therefore, an open Bible, at the 68th 
Psalm thereof, and the second, a short notice and a sure coming to all our 
enemies." The 68th Psalm contains the following verse: "That thy foot 
may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same." 
Rule 4 of the same pamphlet binds the brethren to "defend an Orange- 
man against the insult of a Papist with the last drop of his blood." Quoted 
in "M.P.'s" History ofOrangeistn, p. Si. Cf. note 38, supra. 



like Lord Gosford, was resident in that province during the 
early days of the Orange association. Writing to the Chief- 
Secretary in May, 1797, he says: "The Orangemen were 
originally a bigoted set of men, who were ready to destroy the 
Roman Catholics. ''^^ 

8. We may quote in this connecftion the significant words 
written by the distinguished contemporary Protestant noble- 
man, Lord Holland, in his Memoirs of the Whig Party. 
Describing the various methods by which the unhappy 
Catholic people were goaded into the insurredlion of 1798, he 
says of the courts-martial of the period : " It often happened 
that three officers composed the court, and that of the three 
two were under age, and the third, an officer of the yeomanry 
or militia, who had sworn in his Orange lodge eternal hatred to the 
people [Catholics] , over whom he was thus constituted as 
judge. ""^ 

9. Plowden, in his Ireland from its Union,^^ teWs how Giffard, 
the father of the Orange system, declared, in the presence of 
five well-known persons, whose names are given, that " he 
would forgive Cromwell everything but one thing" — " his not 
having exterminated the Catholics from Ireland, and con- 
cluded with the most solemn avowal of his own efficient and 
most ardent wishes to effedtuate that objedl." In a letter 
concerning the Ascendency faction, which guided the policy of 
the lodges in 1798, the Marquis Cornwallis says: "Their 
conversation and condu6t points to no other way of concluding 
this unhappy business [the rebellion] than that of extir- 
pation ;" and, again, that they " would pursue measures that 
could only terminate in the extirpation of the greater number 
of the inhabitants, and in the utter destrudlion of the 
country."" Since that period occasional isolated cries for the 
extermination of the Irish Catholics have gone up from the 
mouths of members of the Orange fraternity. Of the 
instances which have come under my notice, it will suffice to 
mention two, the one a voice from Ulster, the other an echo 
from Victoria. According to the Right Hon. Lalor Shiel, 
such a cry was raised in 1826 by a Rev. Dr. Robinson at an 

*iQuoted by Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 50, 


^^Memoirs of the Whig Party, vol. i., p. 113, ed. 1852. In a work before 
me I find the words given in italics above quoted as follows: "had sworn 
in his Orange lodge to exterminate the people," etc. The words may 
possibly be given thus in another edition of the Memoirs, that of 1852 being 
the only one which I have been able to consult. 

^^Vol. i., Introd., pp. 21-22. 

■'^•'^Cornwallis Correspotidenee, vol. ii., p. 358; of. pp. 355, 360, 3O9, 377. 
Murray's ed., 1859. 



Orange meeting at Omagh, the proceedings of which were 
subsequently pubHshed in the form of an authorised pamphlet. 
"In the spirit of ferocious honesty," says Shiel, who had read 
the pamphlet, " and with a bloodthirsty candour, he has 
openly acknowledged that he and his party long for a general 
massacre, and aspire at a universal extirpation of the Roman 
Catholics of Ireland."^® Equally frank expression was given 
to a similar wish by Brother E. Harkness at the Maryborough 
(Vidtoria) Orange demonstration of 1887. Referring to the 
Irish Catholics the speaker said that "the Orangemen only 
ivanted to he let loose, and they would exterminate thcm.''^"^' 

10. Grattan, another Protestant contemporary witness, in 
his oft-quoted speech, delivered in the Irish House of Commons 
on February 21, 1796, declared that "the objedt of the Orange- 
men was the extermination of all the Catholics" of the county of 
Armagh, and that they (the Orangemen) "had proceeded 
from robbery and murder to extermination." The Dublin 
Evening Post,oi September 24, of the same year, 1796, described 
the Orange party (whose Reign of Terror was still in full 
progress in the North) as " furious hordes, armed with sword, 
fire, and faggot, to exterminate a people."" 

The reader will observe that the authorities quoted in this 
conne(ftion are — {a) all contemporary with the rise and early 
progress of Orangeism ; that (b) they are of various creeds and 
classes; and that (c) they either diredfly state that the oath of 
extermination was taken by the early Orangemen, or that the 
main purpose of the early Orangemen was the extirpation of 
Catholics. Lecky, in the fourth volume of his Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, proves how general and widespread, in 
every part of Ireland, was the belief that the Orangemen took 
the oath of extermination, as given above by Plowden.^- Add 
to this the facil; that the character and condudt of the rude and 
criminal pioneers of the Orange association was quite in 
keeping with a sworn compacft of this nature. It is only fair 
to state, with Lecky, that " at a later period,'' when persons of 
high social standing were drawn into membership of the 
society, they denied having taken the oath of extermina- 
tion.*^ I can find no evidence that this oath has been repu- 

^s speeches, second ed., 1868, pp. 378, 383. 

4r^ Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, July 13, 1887. Harkness resided 
at Maryborough. His remarks evoked some comment at the time, but 
the correftness of the report seems never to have been called in question. 
The reporter, who is an accomplished pressman, and still a highly respefted 
resident oi Maryborough, personally vouches for the accuracy of the words 
quoted above from Harkness's speech. 

^''Quoted by "M.P.'s" Hist, of Orangeism. p. 44. 

4RSee, for instance, p. 126; cf. pp. 136, 268, 347, 381. 

*''The Dublin Orangemen issued a solemn manifesto in 1797, through 



diated by the first Orangemen or their leaders. The reader 
can judge for himself how far this denial by one class of 
brethren of a later day will outweigh the cumulative force of 
the body of contemporary testimony given above. 


The statement has been frequently made that the early 
Orange organisation was altogether of a defensive characfter,'^" 
The facfts of the case may be briefly stated as follow: 

the press, as a reply to the "slanders" etc., which had been spread abroad 
"to poison the public mind" against them. Now, the head and front of 
all the crimes constantly imputed to them, ever since their foundation in 
1795, had been the taking of the oath to "exterminate the Catholics of Ire- 
land." The manifesto contains no express denial that the oath of exter- 
mination was taken even then (in 1797), while it refrains altogether from 
mention of the early members of the institution. In any case, repudiation 
of the oath in question must be taken in connexion with one constant 
element in the policy of this secret association: namely, the denial, on 
occasion, of even the notorious official proceedings of the society. I have 
already referred to Deputy Grand Master Blacker's garbling of the oath of 
conditional loyalty. Compare the statements of the Earl of Enniskillen, in 
the sixth chapter, regarding secret signs, pass-words, etc., and, in the 
fifteenth chapter, the persistent denials, by the Duke of Cumberland, Lord 
Kenyon, and others, of fadts with which they were personally mixed up in 
connedion with the illegal formation of Orange lodges in the army. The 
manifesto in question makes professions of kindly feeling towards Catholics 
which were flatly contradidted by the current fads of Orange history, and 
later on, in 1835, by the official evidence of Deputy Grand Secretary Swan, 
to which reference will be made in the next chapter. The manifesto 
referred to is given in full in Mitchel's History of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxxii., 
and in Plowden's Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 77-79. The early 
rules of the association were not laid before the Parliamentary Committee 
of 1835, although they were called for, and were admitted to be at the 
time in the possession of Deputy Grand Master Col. Verner, who was 
himself a member of the Committee. We may fairly assume that Col. 
Verner had sufficiently grave reasons for withholding those early rules from 
even the eyes of a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the Orange 

soLecky says (iii., 429, 448) that the society as "originally founded,^' and 
"in its first conception," was defensive. This is a virtual admission that 
after what he terms its "original foundation " — at the Battle of the Diamond 
— it ceased to be defensive. The reader will note the following points in 
Lecky's account of early Orangeism (iii., 426-446) : 

(a) He nowhere states the nature of the alleged defensive purpose, 
nor gives any evidence that the society, as founded at the Diamond or 
Loughgall, was "essentially defensive." (b) Anyone reading his account 
of what he and Froude term "the Orange disturbances" in Ulster, will see 
that he regards the conduct of the early Orangemen as distinctly aggressive (cf. 
Fronde's English in Ireland, iii., 197; Lecky, iii., 445). Lecky (quoted 
above) admits that "at first Orangeism was simply a form of outrage," and 
was "essentially lawless" (iv., 47-48); that the persecution of the Catholics 
by the early Orangemen was "of a most formidable" character (47); and 
that it began "immediately after the battle of the Diamond" and the first 
foundation of Orange lodges (iii., 429.) Lecky is, like the Orangemen, a 
strong Unionist in politics. 



1. We have already seen that Orangeism in its early form 
— the Peep-o'-Day movement — was distincflly aggressive. Its 
illegal depredations, coupled with the criminal partiality of the 
magistracy, provoked the formation of the (originally, at least) 
defensive organisation of the Defenders. There is no evidence 
to show that, at any period, the Armagh Peep-o'-Day Boys 
became a purely defensive association. 

2. Evidence has already been adduced to show that the 
events which led to the Diamond affray were provoked by the 
outrages of the Peep-o'-Day Boys and their sympathisers in 
and about Portadown. 

3. There is no evidence to show that, after the battle of 
the Diamond, the originally aggressive Peep-o'-Day move- 
ment suddenly changed its characSfer, and became simply an 
association for self-defence. Such a supposition is, a priori, un- 
likely ; it is, moreover, opposed to the known facSls of Orange 

(a) The easy and (to them) bloodless vidtory of the Dia- 
mond, was a signal proof of the deadly superiority of the 
Peep-o'-Day Boys in physical strength over even large bodies 
of their ill-armed and leaderless opponents. This made a new 
and wholly defensive organisation less necessary, and an 
aggressive policy more secure and inviting, than ever. 

(b) The early Orangemen were (as Lord Gosford, Governor 
of Armagh, said, and as the events proved) "greatly superior 
in strength," not alone to the Defenders, but to the Catholics 
of the county or districfls generally.^^ 

(c) After the battle of the Diamond, says Lecky,®^"the 
rioters met with scarcely any resistance or disturbance " in their 
work of plundering, persecuting, and banishing the Catholic 
population of the county of Armagh. McNevin says that 
"the Catholics after this transacftion [the battle of the Dia- 
mond] never attempted to make a stand, but the Orangemen 
commenced a persecution of the blackest die."^" The same is 
implied in Lord Gosford's address to the magistrates of Armagh 
county, December 28th, 1795 (three months after the Diamond 
affair), where he says that '^the only crime" of the vi(ftims of 

Rev. James Gordon, a Protestant contemporary writer, whose sons 
were Orangemen, and whose History of the Rebellion was published in 1801, 
reverses the contention of Lecky. He says (vol. ii., p. 358) that the later 
or •'improved system" of Orangeism was "purely defensive," and implies 
that "the outrages of the original Orangemen " showed that their associa- 
tion was an aggressive one. 

siLord Gosford's letter to Pelham, quoted by Lecky, vol. iii., p. 431, 

^^Ibid., p. 429. 

Bspieces of Irish History, pp. 114, 115. 



this inaugural Orange persecution was "simply a profession oi 
the Roman Catholic faith." 

(d) The undoubted fa(5ts of history show that the early 
Orange association, from the first day of its existence under 
the new designation, was of a distincftly aggressive chara(5ter. 
This is proved by the whole course of its early policy towards 
the Catholic body, which may be briefly summed up as follows : 
(i) terrorising by threatening notices; (2) house-wrecking, 
house-burning, and other forms of destrucflion of the property 
of Cathohcs; (3) plundering and confiscation; (4) depriving 
Catholic labourers and artisans of employment; (5) wholesale 
banishment of Catholics ; (6) murder ; (7) outlawing, or 
depriving Catholics of their civil rights. Be it noted that this 
policy of the early Orange lodges was (i) carried out syste- 
matically ; (2) against an unresisting minority of the population of 
Armagh county; (3) on a vast scale; and (4) for a consider- 
able period. What has come to be known as the Orange 
Reign of Terror began with the foundation of the first lodge in 1 795. 
This first phase of "the Orange disturbances," with which 
alone we are at present concerned, continued till 1797. This 
was succeeded by the systematic and still more cruel per- 
secution and torture of the unhappy people, for the purpose of 
provoking the ill-fated insurrec5tion which broke out in 1798. 
With this later phase of the Reign of Terror of the lodges I 
shall deal in the thirteenth chapter, when treating of the 
"gallant Orange yeomanry."^* 


Lecky, in his description of " the Orange disturbances in 
Ulster," says that " a terrible persecution of the Catholics 
immediately followed" the battle of the Diamond, and that " the 
Protestant rabble in the county of Armagh, and of part of the 

s*Some apologists of the Orange society represent it as having been 
founded to combat the United Irishmen as well as the Defenders. The 
statement is utterly void of foundation, (a) The Defender movement was 
long hostile to the United Irishmen and non-political (Lecky Eighteenth 
Century, iii., 223). {b) In 1795, the year of the foundation of the lodges, 
the Government, after the most careful inquiry, failed to find any connec- 
tion whatsoever between the Defenders and the United Irishmen {op. cit. 
p. 387). {c) The Defender movement did not merge into the United Irish 
society till 1796 (Madden, United Irishmen; Lecky, op. cit., p. 486; McNevin, 
pp. 117, 121). ((/) Rev. Holt Waring deposed before the Seledt Committee 
of the House of Lords that the United Irish society was not established in 
Armagh county (where Orangeism arose) until after the starting of Orangeism. 
{e) Rev. Holt Warring's testimony is practically corroborated by the Memoir 
drawn up for the Government by Emmet, O'Connor, and McNevin, who 
point out that the Armagh atrocities first drove the Catholics in great 
numbers into the ranks of the United Irishmen (quoted in chap, ii., supra, 
note 54, p. 26). 



adjoining counties, determined by continuous outrages to drive 
the Catholics from the country. "^^ I shall let Protestant 
contemporary authorities describe the chief phases of the long- 
drawn inaugural fury of the Orange lodges. The reader will 
then be in a position to judge for himself how hopelessly 
inconsistent the conducfl of early Orangeism is with the idea 
of a movement that was altogether, or even mainly, of a 
defensive charadl:er. 

On the 28th of December, 1795, about three months after 
what we shall agree to call the "battle" of the Diamond, some 
thirty of the leading magistrates and grand jurors of the county 
of Armagh attended, upon summons of the Governor, the Earl 
of Gosford (a Protestant nobleman), to consider the state of 
the country. In the opening sentence of his address. Lord 
Gosford said he had called them together to devise a plan " to 
check the calamities that have already brought disgrace upon 
this country." He then proceeds : " It is no secret that a 
persecution, accompanied with all the circumstances of fero- 
cious cruelty which have in all ages distinguished that dreadful 
calamity, is now raging in this county [Armagh] . Neither age, 
nor sex, nor even acknowledged innocence as to the late disturb- 
ances, is sufficient to excite mercy, much less to afford 
prote(5tion. The only crime which the wretched objects of 
this merciless persecution are charged with is a crime of easy 
proof: It is simply a profession of the Roman Catholic faith. A 
lawless banditti have constituted themselves judges of this 
species of delinquency, and the sentence they pronounced is 
equally concise and terrible : It is nothing less than a confiscation 
of all property and immediate banishment. It would be extremely 
painful, and surely unnecessary, to all the horrors that 
attended the execution of 50 wide ajid tremendous a proscription, that 
certainly exceeds, in the comparative number of those it consigns to ruin 
and misery, every example that ancient and modern history can afford. 
For where have we heard, and in what history of human 
cruelties have we read, of more than half the inhabitants of a 
populous county being deprived at one blow of the means, as 
well as the fruits, of their industry, and driven, in the midst of 
an inclement winter, to seek a shelter for themselves and their 
helpless families where chance may guide them ? This is no 
exaggerated pi(5i:ure of the horrid scenes now acfting in this 
county. Yet, surely, it is sufficient to awaken sentiments of 

s^hcland hi the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 429. Rev. W. Nassau 
Molesworth, quoted in a previous chapter, states that the objed of the 
early Orangemen was "to drive the Catholics out of the northern counties 
of Ireland by wrecking and destroying their houses." Hist. 0/ England, 
vol. i., p. 376. 



indignation and compassion in the coldest bosoms. These 
horrors are now acfling, and adting with impunity. The spivii 
of impartial justice, without which law is nothing better than 
tyranny, has for a time disappeared in this county, and the supine- 
ness of the magistracy of this county is a topic of conversation 
in every corner of this kingdom. "^"^ 

" This terrible picfture," says Lecky, "appears to have been 
fully acquiesced in by the assembled gentlemen."" Resolutions 
were unanimously carried to the effedl " that the county of 
Armagh is at this moment in a state of no common disorder," 
and that the Catholics residing there were " grievously 
oppressed by lawless persons unknown, who attack and plunder 
their houses by night, nnless they immediately abandon their lands 
and habitations.'' This resolution was signed by Lord Gosford 
and by twenty-three Armagh county magistrates, of whom 
twenty-two were Protestants. Among the signatures we find 
the names of those pioneers of Orangeism, James Verner, 
Stewart Blacker, and William Blacker, together with those 
of three Protestant clergymen who subsequently became 

On the 2ist of February, 1796, the Protestant statesman, 
Mr. Grattan, said in the Irish House of Commons, that " the 
objecfl of the Orangemen was the extermination of all the Catholics 
of that county [Armagh]. It was a persecution conceived in 
the bitterness of bigotry, carried on with the most ferocious 
barbarity, by a banditti who, being of the religion of the State, 
had committed with the greater audacity and confidence the 
most horrid murders, and had proceeded from robbery and 
murder to extermination. They had repealed, by their own 
authority, all the laws lately passed in favour of the Catholics, 
and established, in the place of these laws, the inquisition of a 
mob resembling Lord George Gordon's fanatics, equalling them 
in outrage, and surpassing them far in perseverance and 
success. Their modes of outrage were as numerous as they 
were atrocious. They sometimes forced, by terror, the masters 
of families to dismiss their Catholic servants; they sometimes 

ssThis speech is given in full in the Third Pari. Report of 1835, ^■Iso in 
Plowden's Hist. Review, Appendix, xcix. Lord Gosford was a Government 
man, but, says Plowden, "his honour and integrity were unassailable." 
Eight years after this address, he said he might have made it "much 
stronger." Hist, of Ireland from tts Ufiion, vol. i., Introd. pp. 36, 37. 

^''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 431. 

''swhen sending the resolutions to Secretary Pelham, Lord Gosford 
wrote; "Of late no night passes that houses are not destroyed, and scarce 
a week that some dreadful murders are not committed." As far back as 
Oftober he had "found the country in a state of extreme disorder." See 
note 24 and text, supra 



forced landlords, by terror, to dismiss their Catholic tenantry." 
He then describes the cruel treatment which the Catholic 
weavers had received at the hands of " those insurgents, who 
called themselves Orange Boys, or Protestant Boys — that is, a 
banditti of murderers, committing massacre in the name of God, 
and exercising despotic power in the name of liberty. "^'* 
"to hell or connaught!" 

Grattan continues: "They [the Orange Boys] had very 
generally given the Catholics notice to quit their farms and 
dwellings, which notice was plastered on their houses,"" and 
conceived in these short but plain words: 'Go to Hell — Con- 
naught won't receive you — fire and faggot — -Will Thresham 
and John Thrustout.' They followed those notices by a 
faithful and puncftual execution of the horrid threat, and soon 
after visited the house, robbed the family, and destroyed what 
they did not take, and finally completed the atrocious persecu- 
tion by forcing the unfortunate inhabitants to leave their land, 
their dwellings, and their trade, and to travel with their miser- 
able family." He then refers to the murders committed by 
"that atrocious and rebellious banditti"; declares that "the 
Catholic inhabitants of Armagh have been adlually put out of 
the protedlion of the law ; the magistrates have been supine 
or partial ; and the horrid banditti [the Orangemen] have met 
with complete success, and from the magistrates very little 
discouragement," in this horrid persecution, this abominable 
barbarity, and this general extermination."*^^ 

Proceeding, Mr. Grattan remarked: " It has been said by 
the mover of the resolution that, of the Defenders, multitudes 
have been hanged, multitudes have been put to death on the 
field, and that they are suppressed, though not extinguished; 
but with regard to the outrages of the Orange Boys no such 
boast could be made. On the contrary, they have met with 

s^They seized the weavers and sent them, as deserters, to serve in the 
fleet, unless they purchased their Hberty by money or drink. The magis- 
trates and Lord Carhampton — presuming on the connivance of the Govern- 
ment — sent multitudes on board the fleet on mere suspicion. An Aft of 
Indemnity was passed, with retrospedlive effedt, to secure the ofiicial law- 
breakers against prosecution. See Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, ch. xvi. p. 


"oThis was a felony, punishable by death, by Adls of the 15th and 
i6th George II. None of the Orangemen were prosecuted for this kind 
of intimidation. 

61 According to Grattan's speech, the resolutions of the Armagh 
magistrates were forced upon them by the shameful excesses of the 
Orangemen. Madden has colleded a number of the rude and sometimes 
indecent notices affixed by the Orange "wreckers" to the houses of 
Catholics in Armagh. They will be found in his United Irishmen, Third 
Series, vol. ii., Appendix vi., p. 337, Duffy's ed. 1846. 



impunity, and success, and triumph. They have triumphed 
over the law ; they have triumphed over the magistrates ; they 
have triumphed over the people. Their persecution, inquisi- 
tion, murder, robbery, devastation, and extermination have 
been entirely vidlorious." Grattan's account of the outrages 
of the original Orangemen is borne out by other members of 
the wholly Protestant Irish Parliament who spoke on the 
subjecft at this time, e.g., by Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of 
Kerry, by William Smith, M.P., and by the Attorney-General 
of the day.''" In the course of the same debate (on the Insur- 
re(51:ion Bill), Sir Laurence Parsons referred to the manner in 
which some of the Ulster magistrates "most cruelly perse- 
cuted the Catholics" ; and Colonel (afterwards General) 
Craddock admitted that the conducSl: of the Orangemen in the 
county of Armagh was at that time atrocious, and that their 
barbarous practices should be put down."^ 

" The unanimous Address of the Sheriff, Governor, Grand 
Jury, and Magistracy" of Armagh to Lord Camden, at the 
Lent Assizes, 1796, also refers to "the outrages which, for 
some time past, have disturbed the peace and interrupted the 
prosperity of this prosperous county."''^ 

Mr. James Christie, a member of the Society of Friends, 
was, perhaps, the most venerable and remarkable of the 
witnesses examined by the Selec51; Committee (Irish) of 1835. 
He was twenty-four years old when the battle of the 
Diamond was fought, had resided on the borders of Armagh 
county since 1793, and was an eye-witness of what he 
describes.*'^ The first disturbances he recolledted occurred 
in the neighbourhood of Colonel Verner's residence. He gives 
a vividly grim description of what was comprised under the 
i.erm " wrecking" — breaking open the doors, smashing every- 
thing that was capable of being broken ; destroying webs, 
looms, furniture, and setting the house on fire. Twelve or 
fourteen houses were thus " wrecked " in his distri(5l in a 
single night. The poor Catholics left their houses in terror. 
Some of them slept at night in his father's plantations. Many 
murders were committed by the rioters, but, says Mr. Christie, 
" no investigation took place; the magistrates were supine and 
inactive." He personally saw three Catholic chapels burned 

^^Grattan's speech is given in Plowden's Historical Review of the State 
of Ireland, vol. ii., part i., pp. 547-549; also in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, 
pp. 46-48. Quotations from the speeches of the others named above are 
given in Hansard, 3rd Series, vol. xxxix., pp. 654-655. 

^spiowden's Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 41, 42. 

^*This address is given in full by "M.P.," p. 42. 

85See his evidence as to the Armagh outrages at Qq. 5566 sqq. of the 
Minutes of Evidence, Irish Report. 



down by the rioters/" but he never heard of " any Protestant 
or Presbyterian places of worship being burned or injured " in 
any part of the North of Ireland.''^ " My father," said he,®' 
" received notices, which I saw — anonymous letters — com- 
manding him to turn off his Catholic servants, and, not to 
employ them in his work." The house-wrecking, he states, 
continued for " two or three years." When, " five or six years 
afterwards" (in 1800 or 1801), some of the exiled Catholics 
ventured to return again, they found that " the property which 
they [had] left was transferred, in most instances, to Pro- 
testants, even in cases where the former occupants had held 
life leases (Q. 5570). 


The Protestant Viceroy of Ireland, Lord Camden, describes 
the disturbance of the early Orangemen as " a(5fs of the 
greatest outrage and barbarity against their Catholic neigh - 
bours.'"*^ The Dublin Evening Post, a Protestant newspaper, 
in its issue of September 24, 1796, gives a fearful picflure of the 
" bloody excesses " committed even then — twelve months 
after the battle of the Diamond — by the Orangemen in Ulster : 
" Murder in all its horrid forms, assassinations in cold blood, 
the mutilation of members without respecft to age or sex, the 
firing of whole hamlets, so that when the inhabitants have 
been looked after, nothing but their ashes were to be found ; 
the atrocious excursions of furious hordes, armed with sword, 
fire, and faggot, to exterminate a people."™ McNevin, in his 
Pieces of Irish History, '^''^ states that the Orange rioters frequently 
fired into the coffins of the dead at funerals, and otherwise 
interfered with the religious observances of their Catholic 
fellow-countrymen . 

The Orange leader, Mr. Verner, in 1796, during the course 
of a debate in the Irish House of Commons, admitted that 

^^Ibid.. Q. 5587 ; see Q. 5585. 

^"^Ibid., Q.. 5589. 

<is/bid., Q., 5596. 

69Letter to Portland, January 22, 1796, quoted by Froude, En<;Ush in 
Ireland, vol. iii., p. 178. Froude admits that Camden refers to the Orange- 

'OQuoted by Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., ch. xxx., p. 238. 

■^iP. 113. I have quoted mainly from contemporary Protestant 
testimony as to the outrages of the early Orangemen. The author of A 
View of the Present State of Ireland (1797) might be added to the list. He 
enters into full details of many fearful outrages, and is extensively quoted 
by Madden (see chap, ii., note 68, p. 28). The two Catholic contemporary 
authorities, Plowden and McNevin, confirm the accounts given by the 
Protestant witnesses quoted above. Historical Review, vol. ii., pp. 539, sqq. ; 
Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd. ; Pieces of Irish History, pp. 113 sqq. 



outrages had been committed by the Orangemen.'^ Lecky 
says that " the most conspicuous document" written at the 
time in the Orange interest draws a picfture of the Reign of 
Terror which is "sufficiently dark," He adds that, neverthe- 
less, the authority of its author (a Mr. Alexander) " cannot 
compete with that of Lord Gosford and the magistrates who 
assembled at Armagh ; and the correspondence in the posses- 
sion of the Government [some of which he quotes] appears to 
me to do little or nothing to attenuate the pidture."'^ 

There is one signal feature in this initial Reign of Terror 
of the lodges which, by itself alone, fully establishes the purely 
aggressive character of the early Orange institution. It is 
this : The Orange outrages thus described were not alone 
pradlised upon large bodies of people who were guiltless of 
any crime save the profession of the Catholic faith, but they 
were carried out for a period of over two years, throughout 
a large area of Ulster, against an unresisting population. 
McNevin distincftly states that after the battle of the Diamond 
the Catholic party in Armagh never raised their heads again." 
And Lecky — whose testimony has been already quoted — admits 
that, after that encounter, " the rioters met with scarcely any 
resistance or disturbance."''^ But perhaps the most scandalous 
feature in the lawlessness of the lodges was the connivance of 
the magistracy and of the Government in their excesses, for 
party and political ends.'*^ 


It is obviously impossible to estimate the number of 
Catholics that were killed, forced on board transports, sold, or 
sent "to Hell or Connaught" during the three feverish years 
of proscription and outrage with which the lodge era of 
Orange history was ushered in. We have already seen Lord 
Gosford's statement that as early as December 28, 1795, a 
great portion of the population of Armagh had been driven out 
of their homes. On the 26th of 0(5tober, 1796, the illus- 
trious orator, Curran (a Protestant), offered, in the Irish 
House of Commons, to produce sworn evidence that not less 
than 1,400 Catholic families had been barbarously expelled 

'''^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 434; see also Minutes of 
Seledl Pari. Committee of 1835, First Report, p. 19. 

'^Lecky, op. cit., p. 434. 

''^Pieces of Irish History, p. 115. 

''^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 429. 

■^6 Further evidence of the partiality of the magistracy will be found in 
Lecky, op. cit., pp. 432, tiote, 446, 449; also in Plowden's Ireland from its 
Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 41, 42, 48; Walpole's Kingdom of Ireland, ch .w., 
p. 457; Bouverie-Pusey, The Past History of Ireland, p. 107. See also ch. 
xiv., infra. h& to the Government, see Lecky, op. cit., pp. 437, 438, 441, etc. 



from their houses, or murdered, or burned in their cottages, or 
had died of fatigue or famine in the fields or highways ; and 
that the same fearful scenes were still being enacfled in open 
day, without any effecftual interference." 

Rev. James Gordon, a Church of England clergyman and 
contemporary historian, whose sons were members of the 
fraternity, gives the number of Catholic families who were 
forcibly expelled by the Orangemen as " fourteen hundred, 
according to the most probable account."''® This estimate is 
confirmed by two well-known Protestant eye-witnesses — Mr. 
Stuart, of A(5lon, and Rev. Mr. Stuart, of Armagh — who made 
out a list which brought the vicftims of the Orange Reign of 
Terror to over 7,000 persons.''^ This is likewise the estimate 
made by what Lecky terms the " evidently truthful Memoir,'" 
presented to the Government in 1798 by the United Irish 
leaders, Emmet, O'Connor, and McNevin.®" The well informed 
contemporary writer, " Observer," whose View of the Present 
State of Ireland appeared in 1797, states that in Armagh county 
alone seven hundred families " were driven to poverty and 
desolation, their houses burned, and their property destroyed 
by Orangemen."®^ 

Lord Moira (a Protestant nobleman), in a letter to Secretary 
Pelham, Ocftober 19th, 1796, enclosed a list of ninety-one 0] 
his own tenants who had been expelled from their homes. " Most 
of them," he says, " have had their little property either 
destroyed or taken; many of them have been cruelly wounded." 
All this occurred in a very small districfl of " only four town- 
lands," in a parish which " «i an inferior degree has felt the 
effe(fts of that licentious barbarity." He further states that 
"the persecution is even now [at the date of his letter] con- 
tinuing with unabated adlivity." ®"- 

Lord Altamount's brother (November 5, 1796) gave an 

'■'Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxx., p. 239. 

''^Hist. of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 348 (Dublin, 1806). 

''^Plowden, Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 50, note. 
According to Plowden, this list was delivered to Under-Secretary Cooke 
and ought to be found in Dublin Castle. "The person who delivered it to 
Mr. Cooke . . . assured the author that he knew the country so de- 
populated, which covered an extent of thirteen miles by eleven, had ex- 
amined the list and had every reason to give full credit to its accuracy." 
Ibid.; cf. Molesworth's Hist, of England, vol. i., p. 376. 

^oMetnoir of the Union, p. 14, also in McNevin's Pieces of Irish History, 
p. 186. Lecky's opinion of the Memoir is given in Leaders of Public Opinion, 
p. 140 (ed. 1871). 

siQuoted in Madden's United Irishmen, Third Series, vol. ii., p. 333, 
ed. 1846. 

82Lord Moira to Pelham, 0&.. 19, 1796, quoted by Lecky, Ireland in 
the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 439. 



incomplete list of 950 of the fugitives who were on the Altamount 
estate alone, near Castlebar (county of Mayo).®^ Lord Alta- 
mount estimated that some 4,000 of these unhappy people had 
taken refuge from the barbarity of the Orangemen in the one 
county of Mayo alone, besides a number which he cannot take 
upon himself to compute in other parts of Connaught.®* The 
Dublin Evening Post of August 27, 1796, states that " a single 
gentleman (Col. Martin, of the county of Galway) has given 
asylum to 1,000 souls on his own estate, all peaceable, inoffen- 
sive, and living by the labour of their hands." ^ Others took 
refuge in other parts of Ireland, some penetrating as far south 
as the county of Kerry. ®^ In their new homes the unhappy 
fugitives struck the Protestant gentry and officials as being, in 
their bearing and conducSt, loyal, peaceable, and industrious 


Almost the only bright spot in the dark surroundings of 
this woful period, was the kindness extended to the persecuted 
Catholics by the Presbyterians of Ulster, especially by those 
of the counties of Down and Antrim. Through the friendly 
help of the Presbyterians of Belfast, a large number of the 
fugitives were enabled to settle in Glasgow and Paisley, forming 
there the first Irish colony, which, in 1810, was computed to 
number nearly 20,000 people.^^ All things considered, it 
does not seem to the present writer that the estimate of 7,000 
refugees is by any means excessive. 

" It is no exaggeration to say," writes Lecky, " that the 
exiles may be numbered by thousands, and it is impossible to 
resist the conclusion that some of the magistrates shamefully 
tolerated or connived at the outrages. Nothing of this kind 
had occurred in Ireland since the days of Cromwell, and the 
consternation, the panic, the widely exaggerated rumours it 
produced, exercised an enormous influence on Irish politics."®" 


Orangemen, and especially Irish Orangemen, have to this day 

8 ^Quoted by Lecky, loc. cit., p. 441. 
^^Ihid., p. 442. 
^^Ihid., note. 

^'^Op. cit., pp. 440, 444; cf. Lord Gosford's evidence before the Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835, Q. 3671. 

88McNevin's Pieces of Irish History, p. 117; Plowden's Ireland from its 
Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 67. We shall see, in chapter v. [infra] that the 
original Orangemen were exclusively, or almost exclusively, members of 
the Established Church, and that the Presbyterians, as a rule, held aloof 
from the society. 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., pp. 445-446. 



a warm corner in their hearts for Oliver Cromwell, who, after 
William of Orange, did most to impoverish, persecute, and 
degrade their Catholic fellow-countrymen. ''° Reference has been 
already made to the sympathy expressed by Giffard, the father of 
the Orange system, for the policy of banish ment, proscription, and 
extermination pursued by Cromwell during and after his wars 
in Ireland. The reader has already seen how the early lodges 
adopted, and carried out as far as lay in their power, the 
Protedlor's policy of confiscating the property of Catholics, and 
sending its rightful owners to " Hell or Connaught." ^^ In the 
Charter Toast, Cromwell's name occupies a place of honour 
second only to that of the chief tutelary deity of the association, 
William, Prince of Orange. This toast is a literary curiosity. 
It is given by Sir Jonah Barrington, who, writing in 1827, says 
that it existed before the foundation of Orangeism, but that it 
was " afterwards adopted by the Orange societies generally, 
and [is] still, I believe, considered as the Charter Toast of 
them all." ^^ Sir Jonah had special opportunities for verifying 
his statements regarding this toast. He was the intimate 
friend of the noted Dr. Duigenan, and as early as March, 1798, 
was, with him, a member of Orange Lodge No. 176 (Dublin), 
according to the official evidence laid before the Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835."^ What he terms the " Orange toast," 
was originally taken on the bare knees, and ran as follows : 

" The glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the great 
and good King WilHam — not forgetting Oliver Cromwell, who 
assisted in redeeming us from Popery, slavery, arbitrary power, 
brass money, and wooden shoes.®* May we never want a 
Williamite to kick the . . of a Jacobite l''^ and a . . for 

9 "Orange lodges are frequently named after Cromwell. For instance, 
a lodge in Echuca (Vidloria) bears the title " Cromwell's Ironsides." 

blunder the Protedlorate, Irish Catholics were deprived of several 
millien acres of land which had escaped the confiscations of previous reigns, 
and a great part of them were banished to the poorest province, 
Connaught. By a rigorous passport system, fhey were forbidden, under 
pain of death without trial, to approach within two miles of the 
Shannon or four miles of the sea. Great numbers were massacred, as at 
Drogheda, Wexford, etc., and thousands were sold as slaves to American 
and West Indian planters. The exercise of the Catholic religion was for- 
bidden almost as completely as it was later on during the regime of William 
of Orange. See Prendergast's Cromwellian Settlonent, pp. 89 sqq., 96-185. 

^"^Personal Sketches and Recollections of his Own Times, first published in 
1827 (Cameron and Ferguson's ed. of 1883, pp. 131-132). 

^'^Mintites of Evidence, Q. 9522. 

9*" The brass money refers to James's finance, and the wooden shoes 
to his French allies." Encycl. Brittannica, 9th ed , art. "Orangemen." 

9 5This part of the Charter Toast finds curious confirmation in Lecky's 
Ireland in the Eighteenth Centioy (vol. i., ch. ii., pp. 321-322), in his descrip- 
tion of Dublin city in that century. Lecky says: "A bust of the same 



the Bishop of Covk.^'' And he that won't drink this, whether 
he be priest, bishop, deacon, bellows-blower, grave-digger, or 
other of the fraternity of the clergy, may a north wind blow 
him to the south, and a west wind to the east ! May he have 
a dark night, a lee shore, a rank storm, and a leaky vessel to 
carry him over the River Styx ! May the dog Cerberus make 

a meal of his r p, and Pluto a snuff-box of his skull ; may 

the devil jump down his throat with a red-hot harrow, with 
every pin tear out a gut, and blow him with a clean carcass to 
hell ! Amen !" 

Several writers-''' assert that some Orangemen rounded off 
the conclusion of the Williamite sentiment in the following 
fashion : " May he be rammed, crammed, and jammed into 
the great gun of Athlone, and blown on to the hob of hell, 
where he'll be kept roasting for all eternity, the devil basting 
him with melted bishops, and his imps pelting him with 

The fa(5^s of the Orange Charter Toast are, that it con- 
sisted of {a) invariable, {b) slightly variable, and {c) very 
variable, elements, {a) The first thirteen words given by Sir 
Jonah Barrington have undergone no alteration, and are 
retained by the lodges to this day. {b) The next following 
nineteen words of the first sentence (as quoted above) have 
been subjecfted to slight modifications. The Encyclopedia 
Bvitannica gives the following as the " commonest form " of the 
Orange toast : (a) " The glorious, pious, and immortal memory 
of the great and good King William, (h) who saved us from 
Popery, slavery, knavery, brass money, and wooden shoes." 
{c) The authority just quoted states that the Toast concluded 
" with grotesque or truculent additions according to the orator's 
taste." Mr. Charles Phillips, a distinguished Protestant 
barrister, quotes the following " loyal toast " as " handed 
down by Orange tradition" at Derry. In a footnote to his 
Speeches, Phillips gives the following toast, and evidently 
refers to it as the one proposed by the Derry Recorder, Sir 

Sovereign [William III., Prince of Orange] bearing an insulting distich 
reflecting on the adherents of James, was annually painted by the [Dublin] 
Corporation. The toast of the ' glorious, pious and immortal memory ' was 
given on all public occasions by the Viceroy." This — -which took place 
long before the foundation of the Orange Society— confirms in so far the 
statement of Barrington. The "insulting distich" is given by Lecky in a 
footnote (i., 322): 

"May we never want a Williamite 
To kick the breech of a Jacobite! " 

^^ In allusion to Bishop Peter Browne of Cork "who in 1715 wrote 
cogently against the pradice of toasting the dead." Encyclo. Britannica, 
9th ed., art. "Orangemen." 

9^See, for instance, "M.P.," Hist, of Omngcism, pp. 28-29. 

81 P 


George Hill, early in the present century, at a public dinner 
which was given to celebrate the return of one of the 
Ponsonbys to Parliament : 

(a) " The glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the 
great and good King William, (b) who saved us from Pope 
and Popery, James and slavery, brass money and wooden 
shoes ; [c) here is bad luck to the Pope, and a hempen rope to all 
Papists ."»8 

Here I end the story of the rise and early progress of the 
Orange society. It is no pleasant tale to unfold. None the 
less, it must needs be told if the reader is to grasp the spirit 
out of which the association grew, and the principles which 
guided its budding adliivities. In the records of its stormy 
youth we seek in vain for any indication that the society was 
a purely defensive one, or that its chief purpose was the 
maintenance of the open Bible, the Protestant religion, the 
laws of the land, and the cultivation of virtue— the principles 
on which, we are assured, the foundations of the Orange 
institution are laid. The following chapters — which treat of 
the society's relations with its members, with the Protestant 
Churches, the Catholic body, and the civil authorities — will 
bring out in still clearer light the broad lines of a policy which 
it has steadily pursued ever since the wild times when the 
deeds of the " atrocious banditti " of the North brought back 
to the Irish mind the memory of the days of Cromwell. 

^^The Speeches of Charles Phillips, p. 121, published in 1817 by Long- 
man, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Browne, London. Phillips gives this toast 
in a footnote, and evidently leaves it to be inferred that it was the one, the 
public proposal of which ledindirecftly to the case of O'Mullan v. McKorkill, 
in which he was engaged, and which excited considerable public interest at 
the time. Phillip's Speeches, pp. 120 sqg. 

The following are said to have been favourite Orange toasts: "The 
Pope in the pillory, the pillory in hell, and the devil pelting him with 
priests." "May the ears of all the Papists be nailed to the chapel, and 
the chapel transplanted into hell." During the debate on Drummond's 
Constabulary Bill, instances were alleged in the House of Commons of 
these toasts having been given by Orange policemen. Barry O'Brien's 
Thomas Drummond, p. 219. 



Chapter V* 


There are three features in connecftion with the membership 
of the Orange institution which call for more than passing 

I. Admission to membership is open to Protestants only. 
"No Papist need apply." 

II. The Protestants that are ehgible for membership are 
only those of "the right kind" — that is, those who are 
prepared to adopt an aggressive attitude towards the Cathohc 
Church, its principles, its members, and its institutions. 

III. These are admitted only under terms which place 
their membership and their political acftion at the beck and 
call of the Grand Lodge, or of the autocrat of the lodges — the 
Grand Master. 

I, Protestants Only. 

The Orange society is, and has ever been, exclusively 
Protestant in its membership. The Early Ordinances of the 
Armagh Orangemen, published in 1801 by King, Westmoreland 
Street, Dublin, have the following: "3rd. That our association 
being an exclusively Protestant association, meant for Protestant 
purposes, all Papists are not only to be excluded from our 
community, but we pledge ourselves that we will not sell to 
such or buy from such; neither will we drink with them, talk 
with them, or walk with them, but we will treat them as 
enemies to our religion, and traitors to the good Protestant King 
who holds the succession of the throne in the noble House of 
Hanover." The purely Protestant charadter of the Orange 
institution, if not the same spirit of exclusive dealing, was 
steadfastly maintained throughout the frequent alterations 
which were forced upon it by external influences in 1799, 1814, 
1821, 1825, 1828, 1834, 1845, 1849, 1869, 1872, and on to the 
present hour. In the "General Declaration" of the Rules 



and Regulations of 1800/ the Grand Oransre Lodge of Ireland 
says: "We further declare that we are exclusively a Protestant 
association; yet, detesting as we do any intolerant spirit, we 
solemnly pledge ourselves to each other, that we will not 
persecute, injure, or upbraid any person on account of his 
religious opinions, provided the same be not hostile to the State." 
This saving clause was retained in the Irish revised rules of 
1814. Mr. Swan, Deputy Grand Secretary of the society, was 
questioned by the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 as to 
whether he considered the Roman Catholic religion "hostile to 
the State." He frankly replied: "I do."^ 

By the rules of 1800, every Orangeman, on his initiation, 
was required to take a lengthy oath, of which the following 
was a part: "I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely swear, of my 
own free will and accord . . . that I am not, nor ever was, 
a Roman Catholic or Papist."^ 

By the same rules, the Master, Deputy Master, Secretary, 
Deputy Secretary, Treasurer, and the five Committee-men were 
furthermore required to take, upon their appointment, a special 
"obligation," in which, among other things, they severally swear 

^RuUs and Regulations for the use of all Orange Societies: revised and 
corrected by a Committee of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, and adopted by 
the Grand Orange Lodge, Jan. 10, 1800. They are given in full in Plowden's 
Hist, of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., after Introdudion, and in Appendix 
to Report of Seleft Parliamentary Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges. 

,'^Minntes of Evidence, Q. 1207. 

=^The full oath ran as follows: "I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely 
swear, of my own free will and accord, that I will, to the utmost of my 
power, support and defend the present King George the Third, his heirs 
and successors, so long as he and they support the Protestant ascendency, the 
Constitution and laws of these kingdoms, and that I will ever hold sacred 
the name of our glorious deliverer, William the Third, Prince of Orange; 
and I do further swear that I am not, nor ever was, a Roman Catholic or 
Papist; that I was not, am not, nor ever will be, a United Irishman; and 
that I never took the oath of secrecy to that or any other treasonable 
society; and I do further swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will 
always conceal and never will reveal either part or parts of what is now 
to be privately communicated to me, until I shall be authorised so to do 
by the proper authorities of the Orange institution; that I will neither 
write it, nor indite it, stamp, stain, or engrave it, nor cause it so to be done, 
on paper, parchment, leaf, bark, stick, stone, or anything, so that it may 
be known ; and I do further swear that I have not, to my knowledge or 
belief, been proposed and rejedled in or expelled from any other Orange 
lodge, and that I now become an Orangeman without fear, bribery, or 
corruption. So Help me God." Appendix to Report of Seleft Committee, 

p. 3- 

The English Parliamentary Committee's Report says that it was "dis- 
tindtly proved to the Committee that every member admitted prior to 
1821" took this particular oath, which, with the other Rules of 1800, was 
placed in evidence. The reader will note the oath of conditional loyalty 
therein. Cf. Appendix B, infra. 



"that I was not, nor am not [s?V], a Roman Catholic or Papist." 
In addition to this, the Master and Deputy Master swear " that 
I will not knowingly admit, or consent any person for me shall 
admit, anyone into the society of Orangemen who was, or is, a 
Papist." Each of the five Committee-men takes a similar oath : 
" That whenever I may be called upon to adt in the absence 
of the Master or Deputy Master, I will not knowingly admit 
anyone into the society of Orangemen who was, or is, a 
Papist." The ninth of the Secret Articles of 1800 runs briefly 
thus : " No Roman Catholic cart be admitted on any account." 
The same rule holds good to the present day. 

This exclusiveness is kept up in the Rules and Constitutions 
adopted by the Grand Lodge of Victoria in 1878 and 1893.^ 
In all the Orange codes it is part of the " basis of the institu- 
tion" that it should be " composed of Protestants resolved to 
support and defend, to the utmost of their power, the Protestant 
religion." By rules 2 and 59 of Vicftoria (ed. 1893) Catholics 
are as rigidly excluded as ever from membership. By the 
Ritual of Introduction to the Orange Degree, every candidate for 
membership is required to this day to kneel down before the 
assembled brethren, and, holding the Bible in his hands, to 
make what purports to be a solemn declaration, but which, as 
we shall see in the next chapter, is in effecft either a true oath, 
or at least (as the English Parliamentary Selecft Committee 
declare) the equivalent of an oath. Part of this declaration 
(which is given in full in Appendix B) runs as follows : 

'* I do solemnly and sincerely declare that ... I am 
not, nor ever was, and never will be, a Roman Catholic, and 
that I am not married to one, nor will I marry one, or willingly 
permit any child of mine to marry one." 

This abiding dread of Catholics, or of persons suspecfled of 
being well disposed to Catholics, gaining admission to member- 
ship to the Orange institution, finds amusing expression in the 
proceedings of the Irish Grand Lodge for May 28 and 29, 1859, 
as published in the Report of the Royal Commission on the 
Belfast riots of 1857.* The Limerick Orange lodge (No. 1080) 

^The Laivs and Constitution of the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria, as 
passed at a Special Grand Lodge Meeting held at the Protestant Hall, Melbourne, 
on the 3rd April, 1878, and confirmed at a Grand Lodge Meeting held at Geelong 
on the 7th June, 1878, and Resolutions passed by the Grand Lodge. Daylesford : 
Cross and Co., Machine Printers, Albert Street East, 1885 (20 pages) — 
The Laws and Constitution of the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria, as adopted 
at the Annual Grand Lodge Meeting, held at the Protestant Hall, Melbourne, 
Wednesday, 8th November, 1893. Melbourne: Bro. C. \V. Burford, Printer, 
548 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 1893. — Both these books of Rules are in 
the possession of the writer of these pages. Those of 1893, which are 
now (1897) current in the lodges, are given in Appendix C. 

^Appendix 14, p. 284. 



made application to have one Patrick Flanagan admitted to 
membership. There was apparently nothing against Patrick 
except the rank odour of Popery which arose from his name. 
The Grand Lodge, however, declared that, for motives of 
" prudence," they could not " meet the wishes" of the brethren 
in the city of the violated treaty. 


What do Orangemen mean by the somewhat vague term, 
" the" Protestant religion ? Originally they meant the Estab- 
lished Church of England, and that alone. In 1795, when 
Orangeism originated in Armagh, the term "Protestant" was 
used to designate exclusively the estabhshed " Protestant 
religion." ^ The members of the other non-Catholic denomi- 
nations were not termed " Protestants," but " Presbyterians," 
etc., and, generically, " Dissenters." This will be made abun- 
dantly evident by reading the works of contemporary writers, 
and, for a still later period, the Minutes of Evidence taken by the 
Parhamentary Committee of 1835 O" Orange lodges.'' Even 
at the present day the word " Protestant" is still habitually 
used in every part of Ireland, but especially in the North, to 
distinguish Anglicans from Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. 
The reader who has had no experience of Irish life is referred 
to answers given regarding their religion by some of the 
witnesses examined by the Royal Commissions on the Belfast 
riots of 1857 and 1886. 

The second rule of the Boyne society — one of the earliest 
of the Orange associations — says : " We are exclusively a 
Protestant association." In a subsequent rule (No. 9) they 

^Killen, Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 363, note 3. 

•'For instance, the Seled Committee ask Mr. Christie (Q. 5589): 
"Were any Protestant or Presbyterian places of worship burned or injured ? ' ' 
Plowden and other writers of his day habitually use the word "Protest- 
ant" to designate the Church of England, and the words "Protestant 
religion" were long understood to mean the same Church exclusively. 
One of the witnesses called by the Royal Commission of 1S57 said he was 
not a Protestant but a Presbyterian. One of the early rules of the Orange 
society is said to have'run as follows: "3. Resolved, that no member is 
to introduce a Papist or Presbyterian, Quaker or Methodist, or any per- 
suasion hut a Protestant:' This was published in the closing years of the 
last century. Musgrave denies its authenticity; Plowden affirms it 
(Introd., pp. 87, 88); Killen inclines to believe it (ii., 363). At any rate, it 
was largely afted upon. Authentic or not, it will serve equally well to 
illustrate the point in question. Cf. Lecky, Eighteenth Century, iii., 448. 
Mr. J. Coleman, M.R.S.A.I., tells of an Irishman who was a member of a 
public body in England, and who "created considerable merriment by 
stoutly denying that Dissenters were Protestants." London Tablet, Decem- 
ber 26, 1896. See chap. iv.. supra; see also Madden, United Irishmen, 
Third Series, vol. iii., p. 31S, where Emmet addresses himself to Protest- 
ants, Presbyterians, and Catholics. 



explain the meaning they attach to the word " Protestant," 
when they refer to King WilUam, Prince of Orange, "who 
bravely supported our rights, and established the Protestant 
religion."® By the declarations of the Loyal Boyne and Orange 
Association, passed at Lisbellaw, June 4th, 1797, the members 
pledge themselves to " maintain the true Protestant religion 
and ascendency, as established and declared at the glorious 
Revolution of 1688."^ In their declaration of February ig, 
1798, the Orangemen of Ulster proclaim their steady attach- 
ment " to our valuable constitution in Church and State." ^° And 
the society's amended and unconstitutional oath of 1800 pledged 
the members to allegiance to the King and his heirs only 
"so long as he and they support the Protestant ascendency." 
The rules of 1800 have the following under the heading of 
" General Declaration" :" 

" We also associate in honour of King William the Third, 
Prince of Orange, whose name we bear, as supporters of his 
glorious memory and the true Religion by him completely established 
in these kingdoms." 

The meaning of the phrase, " Protestant ascendency," was 
clearly explained in 1792 in an address of the Protestant Lord 
Mayor, sheriffs, commons, and citizens of Dublin to the 
Protestants of Ireland. In the course of this document they 
declare that the words mean a Protestant Crown and Parlia- 
ment, a Protestant hierarchy, and Protestants in every position 
of honour and emolument under the State. ^'^ 

" The early Orangemen," says the Presbyterian historian, 
Killen, "were professedly organised in support of the existing 
Protestant ascendency in Church and State, so that no Presby- 
terian who respecfted himself and the principles of the religious 
community with which he was connedled could join the asso- 
ciation. It was asserted by persons living at the time, who 
were furnished with the best means of obtaining information, 
that those who constituted their earliest lodges were all 
Episcopalians."'^ The Orange historian, Musgrave, bears 
out this statement." The Anglican clergyman, Rev. Mortimer 

sMusgrave's Strictures on Plowden's Hist. Review, p. 228. 

^Annals and Defence of the Loyal Orange Institution, by O. R. Gowan, 
late Grand Secretary. Dublin, 1825, quoted in "M.F.'s" History of Orange- 
ism, p. 30. 

lOQuoted by Musgrave, the Orange writer, in his Strictures on Plowden, 
p. 227. 

iiSee tiote i, supra. 

i^Musgrave, Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, Appendix, p. 12. The 
reader will find the words quoted textually in chapter xii., infra. 

^^EccJes. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., pp. 363, 364. 

^^Strictures, p. 148; Memoirs, vol. i., p. 74. Cf. note 21, ch. iv., supra. 



O'SuUivan, Deputy Grand Chaplain of the society, says in 
his evidence before the Padiamentary Committee of 1835 on 
Orange lodges : " I believe the first Orange lodge consisted 
exclusively of members of the Church of England. "^^ Mr. Verner, 
an Orange M.P., in his speech before the Irish House oi 
Commons, 7th November, 1796, says: "That body of men 
called Orange Boys, to whom so many wanton and unprovoked 
cruelties had been attributed, were Protestants of the Estab- 
lished Church." ^^ And Lord Gosford says in his evidence 
before the Committee of 1835 : " I think that the original 
institution of Orangemen was confined to the Church of 
England."" Mr. Alexander, an Armagh Protestant magis- 
trate, writing to the Government in November, 1796, said : 
"The Orangemen are almost entirely composed of members of 
the Established Church." ^^ Grattan, in his speech in the Irish 
House of Commons, February 21st, 1796 (quoted in chapter 
iv.), stated that the Orange " banditti" of the time were " of 
the religion of the State." Plowden, writing in 1810, describes 
the Orangemen of his day as " a very small portion of the 
population, professing the religion of the State.'"^-' The county of 
Armagh, where Orangeism originated, was "a species of 
Enghsh colony" — the most Episcopalian county in Ireland — 
and the Peep-o'-Day Boy movement there was, at least to a 
very great extent, before the battle of the Diamond, carried on 
by the (nominal) adherents of the favoured creed. 2° A large 
portion of the members of the Ulster lodges to this day consist 
of the lower orders of the Episcopalian Church,^^ which, per 
contra, has given to the Irish nation — with the exception of 
O'Connell — all the great leaders she has chosen to voice her 
aspirations during more than a hundred years of her history. 

The English Selecft Committee of the House of Commons 
on Orange lodges say in the Report, which they presented to 
Parliament (p. xvi.) : 

" Your Committee have to observe that the clergymen of 
the Church of England appear to have engaged, to a considerable 
extent, in the affairs of the Orange institution. The Right 
Reverend Thomas, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, is Lord Prelate 
and Grand Chaplain of the order. There are also twelve or 
thirteen Deputy Grand Chaplains of the institution. Some 

^^Firsi Report, Minutes of Evidence, Q. 584. 

isQuoted by Froude, English in Inland, vol. iii., p. 169. 

^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 3656. 

isQuoted by Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol, iii., p. 433. 

^^Hist. of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 82, 83. 

^oibid., p. 9. Cf. chapter iv., note 21, supa. 

21T. P. O'Connor, The Parnell Movement, ch. xii., p. 261 (popular ed 




clergymen have warrants as Masters of lodges, and condudl 
their affairs. No dissenting clergyman in England, and only two 
clergymen of any persuasion in Scotland, appear to have joined 
the institution. The reverend functionaries of the institution 
are direcfled to appear in the Grand Lodge in canonicals ; 
their insignia consist of a purple velvet scarf, with gold binding, 
gold fringe at the ends, and lined with orange silk." 


Considering that one of the chief avowed objecfls of the 
Orange society was to perpetuate the political ascendency of 
the members of the established creed, at the expense of the 
remainder of the population of the country, it is not a matter 
of surprise that the Presbyterians (who formed the great bulk 
of the Protestant Dissenters in the North) should, as a body, 
long hold aloof from membership of the association. The 
authoritative statements of the many witnesses quoted above 
quite preclude the idea that any considerable number of them 
could have joined the early Orange society. Their earliness in 
the field of religious toleration in Ulster, the friendly feeling 
that had long subsisted between them and the Catholic body, 
their pracftical sympathy for the sufferings of the helpless 
vi(5tims of the " lawless banditti" — all go to prove the truth of 
Plowden's words, that " the Presbyterians generally abhorred 
the principles of the Orangemen."'^ At a subsequent period — 
when the first wild phase of the Ulster Reign of Terror had 
passed by — many Presbyterians joined the fraternity. Plowden 
says they were " chiefly of the lower orders."^ Killen asserts 
that they were " not very warmly attached to their Church," 
persons " of little weight and intelligence," etc.^^ However 
this may be, the fadt remains that the Presbyterians, as a body, 
have never been in sympathy with the Orange movement in 
Ireland, and, as far as I can find, the members of their com- 
munion who joined the fraternity have never been permitted to 
sit within the mystic portals of the Grand Lodge. The Rev. 
W. McClure and Rev. Richard Smith, D.D, — two Presbyterian 
clergymen of Derry, whose names are hallowed by many sacred 
memories — refused to give their meeting-house for the demons- 
trations of the Apprentice Boys. The clergy and committee 
of the first Presbyterian Church in Derry also declined to 

"^^Hist. of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., introd., p. 66. He is combat- 
ing Musgrave's exaggeration of the number of the Presbyterian yeomanry 
at a later date. 

^■^Eccles. Hist, of IreLind, vol. ii., pp. 363, 364; cf. pp. 367, 368, 464. 
Cf. chap, iv., supra. 


permit the Orange brethren to use it for the typical celebration 
of their anniversary, on the twelfth of July, 1896.^" Ulster 
Presbyterians will remember how, in many cases, as Rev. Mr. 
Armour, in one of his speeches before the General Assembly in 
Belfast, reminded them that they had been required to pay 
for leave to bury their dead in the sepulchres of their fathers. 
The Burials BUI (Ireland), which was intended to remedy 
this old-standing grievance, was introduced into the House of 
Commons by the Catholic representative of Limerick. It had 
the warm support of every Irish Catholic member of the 
House. The Duke of Abercorn, whom Orangemen regard as 
a warm sympathiser, always cast his vote against the Bill, 
when he was a member of the House of Commons.'*^" Lord 
Claude Hamilton, whose sympathies with Orangeism were 
most pronounced, when member of Parliament for Tyrone 
county, publicly advocated the burial of Presbyterians at low 
water mark. 

In England, the Dissenters were stricftly exchided from 
membership of the Orange lodges.'^' The English Orangemen 
were strongly opposed to the admission of members of other 
Protestant Churches to political rights and privileges. In a 
Grand Committee meeting held in April, 1832, Brother Eedes 
hotly condemns the " repeal of the Corporation and the Test 
A(ft" (1828) as "an acfl: of political dislocation, tending to 
political dissolution." The Imperial Grand Master, the Duke 
of Cumberland, was in the chair, and the sentiment seems to 
have met with the concurrence of all those " champions of civil 
and religious liberty" who were present. ^^ 

"a common platform." 

Times have changed. The Orange society, that railed 
against the extension of equal civil rights to Dissenters, now 
takes them to its bosom. The wolf and the lamb lie down 
together at last, in the face of the common foe — the Scarlet 
Woman of Babylon. In the Australian colonies a broad 
spirit of toleration and of friendly feeling towards Catholics 
exists among the better class of Protestants. The Anglican 
and the Presbyterian Churches are largely disassociated from 

s^The Deny Journal, July 3, 189G; also Dublin Freeman's Journal ol 
previous days. 

2iSee Dr. Kinnear's speech at Carndonagh, reported in Derry Standard, 
April, 1880. 

'^"^Pict. Hist, of England, vol. vii., p. 488 ; Miss Martineau's Thirty Years 
Peace, vol. ii., p. 274. 

2**Appendix to Report of English Seledt Parliamentary Committee on 
Orange lodges. 



the Orange movement here.^^ It has, none the less, proved its 
capacity, in these colonies, for producing acute forms of local 
irritation. The membership rolls of the lodges are carefully 
guarded from profane eyes ; but from all I have been able to 
discover, the Orange institution of Vidloria (and, presumably, 
of the other colonies as well) is a thing of shreds and patches, 
a Joseph's coat of many colours, mainly composed ^pi the 
adherents of the minor Protestant Churches. Primitive 
Methodist clergymen take a leading part in Orange demon- 
strations. One of their number has long been Grand Chaplain 
of the institution in Vicftoria. Another is its recognised press 
champion. Since the beginning of 1897, the Orange institution 
of Vicftoria has been coquetting with officers of the Salvation 
Army, and has made the conquest of several of its "captains."^ 
All that is now needed in these colonies is a profession, real or 
nominal, of some or any of the many " persuasions" that are 
comprised under the generic term " Protestant," and the 
requisite degree of pious fury against the Catholic body, their 
do(51:rines, pradlices, and institutions. A tracfl: that circulates 
extensively among the lodges of Vicftoria says : " We embrace 
all sedlions of the Protestant Church. Orangeism is a common 
PLATFORM, on which all Protestants can meet without danger 
of collision on account of minor difficulties."®^ That "common 

29Members of the Melbourne Caledonian Snciety and the Thistle 
Club may be interested in the following attempt made to draw them 
within the mystic circle of the L.O.L. The following is a true copy 
(pundtuation included) of a lithographed circular now in the writer's 
possession : 

Melbourne July 12th, 1S95 

Dear Sir, As the Pope and his followers are doing everything possible 
to neutralize the effecfls of the Reformation, a number of citizens of Scottish 
birth or descent think it is time that we should rouse up the spirit which 
prompted the old Covenanters, our fore-fathers to lay down their lives for 
the cause of freedom. We have therefore decided to call a meeting of 
those in sympathy with this movement and who are Scots, or of Scots 
descent at the Protestant Hall Exhibition Street (Upper Lodge Room) on 
Friday i6th day of August 1895 ^t 8 p.m. for the purpose of forming a 
Scottish Orange Lodge, to be called the "Black Watch," suggested 
colours: — 42nd Tartan — motto "Scotland for ever" with the "Caledonian 
Society" and the "Thistle Club" as recruiting grounds. I may inform 
you that about 50 names have been sent in, including the Pipers who are 
anxious to form a Pipe Band. Yours fraternally 

"Gang Warily." 

The "Black Watch" lodge is numbered 163. 

^°Victoria?i Standard, February 27, 1897; April 30, 1897. The members 
of the Walhalla lodge (Vidoria) attended, in full regalia, a Salvation Army 
service conduced by one "Captain" Glithroe, who had joined their ranks. 
Victorian Standard, June 30, 1897. 

^''■Twenty Reasons for being an Orangeman. 



platform " is set forth in the "General Qualifications" of an 
Orangeman, namely : 

Strenuous opposition to the Roman Church ; 

Discountenance of its worship ; 

Resistance to the " extension of its power." 

In one word, the "common platform" which Orangeism 
offers ^o all "Protestants" is simply this— an aggressive 
attitude towards Catholicism and Catholics."'^ This will 
appear more fully when we further consider the limits of 
membership in this chapter, and the acftion of the Orange 
body in succeeding ones. The Orange institution in the Aus- 
tralian colonies reminds one of the cages of " happy families " 
that one sees about Paternoster Row, where the cat, the 
mouse, the hawk, and the canary, live together in domestic bliss. 
To one Orangeman Christ may be the Living God ; to his 
Unitarian or Socinian " brother," He may be a mere man, of, 
perhaps, not much account. To one Orangeman the Bible 
may be inspired in whole ; to another only in part ; to a third 
not at all. To some, the Sacraments may be means of grace, 
to others, mere empty mummeries. The Christian ministry 
may be to some a priesthood ; to others a mere set of lay 
delegates ; to others still, eternal punishments and eternal 
rewards, and the existence of a personal God or a personal 
Devil, may be alike myths. It matters not. All these things 
are, apparently, classed as " minor difficulties." There are, 
nevertheless, two articles of faith which no true Orangeman 
will venture to doubt : {a) that the Pope is the Man of Sin ; 
and {b) that the Church of Rome is the Scarlet Woman of 
Revelations^ Here, at least, we have order amidst chaos ; light 
in darkness. Here we have a bond of union that clamps together 
a thousand lines of cleavage. In this brief creed is summed up 
the whole Law and the Prophets. 

No Papists need apply. 


Membership of the Orange institution is thus restricfted 
severely to such as can style themselves " Protestants." But 
it would be a great mistake to suppose that a profession of 
faith in, say, the Thirty-nine Articles, or in the Westminster 
Confession, is sufficient — that any Protestant of the requisite 
age (over i8), and of known good chara(fter, has merely to 
apply for membership, and be admitted as a matter of course. 

«2The methods of arousing, expressing, and perpetuating this hatred 
of persons and things Catholic will be dealt with in chapters viii., and 

•^•'See chapter viii., infra. 



As a matter of facft Orangemen entertain towards large classes 
of Protestants feelings of undisguised animosity. This 
hostility has its origin remotely in two cardinal principles of 
the association : 

(a) Orangeism is the only genuine form of Protestantism ; 

(b) " He who is not with us is against us."''^ 

" Orangeism is identical with Christianity," said Rev. Brother 
Madgwick at Sydney."^ Another reverend orator declared at 
the Ararat (Vidloria) demonstration in 1892, that "Orangeism 
is synonymous with Protestantism."'"' In a tradt issued to the 
lodges/' Orangeism is defined as " Protestantism pure and 
simple, but thoroughly in earnest" ; and again (in italics) as 
" the essence and embodiment of British Protestantism." Similar 
expressions abound in the literature of the lodges. Any 
Protestant, therefore, or any form of Protestantism, that is not 
in harmony with the Orange society in its general policy of 
guerilla warfare against the Catholic body, would be dealt 
with in accordance with the motto of the lodges : " He who 
is not with us is against us." As a matter of fa(5t : 

(i) A large body of Protestants are deemed as ineligible for 
membership as if they were Papists. They are variously 
termed on the Orange platform ",the wrong sort," the "shilly- 
shallies," the " wishy-washies," and the " namby-pambies."^® 

2. The eligible ones — " the right sort" — are initiated only 
on terms which place their membership and their political 
atflion at the beck and call of the autocrat of the lodges, the 
Grand Master. 

I. Four classes of Protestants are excluded from member 
ship of the Orange lodges, namely : 

(a) Ritualists ; 

(/;) Protestants who have at any time been Catholics ; 

(c) Protestants who have married Catholics ; 
{d) Liberal-minded Protestants. 

The purpose of these rules is sufficiently evident. It is to 
debar from the society all persons who are open even to 
suspicion of entertaining friendly feelings towards Catholics. 
This system of exclusion pracflically makes membership of the 
Orange institution possible only to the most bigoted sedtion of 
the community. 

^*In the Ritual of the Orange degree this is expressly laid down as the 
motto of the Orange association. See Appendix B. 

^''Victorian Standard, August 3, 1885. 

^^Ararat Advertiser, July, 1892. 

^''Definition of Orangeism. 

ssThe epithets quoted above are taken from reports of Orange 
demonstrations published in the Victorian Standard. 




{a) Ritualists. — An Orange tradl already referred to'Meclaies 
that part of the " reUgious basis" of the society is to offer 
" a firm and Christian resistance to the encroachments of 
Scepticism, Ritualism, and Romanism." The fervour of the 
brethren's hatred of the Ritualistic body is only surpassed by 
their glowing antipathy to CathoHcs. On the 12th of July, 1891, 
the " Grand Master, Loyal Orange institution of England," 
issued an address to the fraternity under his jurisdicStion. In 
the course of this manifesto (the full text of which is given in 
the Belfast Weekly News), he says : "In religion, let the true 
principles of the Reformation be your guide, avoiding as a curse 
all semblance to Ritualism f. the unmistakeable stepping-stone to 
Popery." Ritualism is described by the Victorian Standard as 
"bastard Popery," and "Romanism in disguise." Rev. J. 
Cowperthwaite, at the Richmond (Melbourne) demonstration, 
1893, referred contemptuously to the Ritualists as " half Pro- 
testants, half Romanists."*" At the Maryborough (Vicftoria) 
demonstration in the previous year. Rev. Mr. Mathieson 
(Wesleyan) referred sorrowfully to the " Romanising" ten- 
dency of the Church of England." According to the same 
paper,*^ Rev. Mr. Hart, at another Orange meeting in the same 
town, denounced the " lot of rubbish" that there was in the 
Episcopalian Church. Ritualism was also strongly condemned 
by Rev. T. Shanks and Rev. J. Caton at Orange meetings in 
Portland and Melbourne.*^ Additional evidence of the hostility 
of Orangemen towards Ritualists is given by "Ulsterman's" Rise 
and Progress of Orangeism (p. 87), published at the Vidorian 
Standard office in 1895, "with the sandlion and approval of the 
R.W.G.M., Bro. Hon. Simon Eraser, M.L.C.," to whom it is 
likewise dedicated. The Orange author of this literary curiosity 
writes : " It is certainly painful to all true Protestants (more 
especially to Orangemen) to hear of the spread of Ritualism 
amongst a secftion of the Anglican Church at the present time, 
particularly in Protestant England. The clerical lights (or, as 
we might very appropriately call them, candle-bearers) of such 
Churches might blush for shame when they look over the 
records of some of the early Protestant defenders. ... It 
is not beyond the range of probability to state that, were it not 
for the combined union of the Orange institution, the very 
foundation of Protestant freedom, though so ably prote(5ted by 

^^Definittoyi of Orangeism. 

■^° Victorian Standard, July, 1893, p. 8. 

'^'^Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, July 15, 1892. 

'^■^Ibid., July 13, 1883. 

^'^Victorian Standard, July 31 and August 31, 1896. 



the British flag, would once a<;ain be undermined, and that too 
by the assistance of many professing Protestants of the Ritual- 
istic class." *^ In the files of the Orange organ, the Vi6tovian 
Standard, our Ritualistic friends are described in letters and in 
fiery articles, original and copied, as renegades to the religion 
of the Reformation, traitors to the Protestant cause, Papists 
and Jesuits in disguise, trucklers to Rome, etc. 

Ritualists are not unreasonably suspedfed of entertaining 
friendly feelings towards Catholicism. 

No Ritualists need apply. 


{h) Protestants who have at any time been Catholics. — To this 
day every Orangeman, at his initiation, has to kneel down, 
and, holding the Bible in his hands, to take an oath, or a 
solemn protestation that is equivalent to an oath : *' That I 
am not, nor ever was, and never will be, a Roman Catholic."^ 
The following, which is a universal rule of the Orange society, 
appears in the laws, etc., of the Vicflorian institution of 1878, 
1885, and 1893 : 

"2. No person who has at any time been a Roman Catholic, 
or has married one, shall he admitted into the institution 
except by the vote of the Grand Lodge (one vote in seven to 
exclude), founded upon testimonials of good character and a 
certificate of his having been duly elecfted by ballot (pursuant 
to Rule i) in the lodge in which he is proposed; such certificate 
to be sent to the Grand Secretary. Any member marrying a 
Roman Catholic shall be expelled." 

The saving clause in the first part of the rule quoted above 
("the vote of the Grand Lodge") permits the privilege of 
membership to ex-Catholics of the type of the pro es clonal 
slanderers who from time to time have visited our shores. 
Their attacks on the Catholic body are, apparently, 
sufficient " testimonials of good charac5ter." I need only refer 
to the eager haste with which Grand Lodges took up this 
class of adventurers, and helped to swell the financial success 
of their tours by furnishing audiences and special " funds,"''" 
vmdeterred by the repeated exposures, and the not infrequent 
and successful criminal prosecutions which have followed the 
career of many of these unhappy men and women in England, 
Scotland, and the United States." One of the coarsest of 

^^Rise and Progress of Orangcism, p. 87. See chap, i., supra, note 24, p. 14. 
*'^See Ritual of Orange degree, Appendix B. 
^^Victorian Standard, 2nd June, 1885. 

*''The business of slandering Catholic institutions has, under the 
auspices of Exeter Hall, the Orange society, and oi the A.P.A. in America, 



these caluminators was made a member of the institution in 
Australia. His pamphlets (containing reports of his lecftures) 
circulate freely to this day in the lodges of Vicftoria, and have 
been offered as premiums to Orangemen who procure fresh 
subscribers for the Victorian Standard. The nature of one of 
them may be inferred from the facfl that it has been repeatedly 
offered for sale in the advertising columns of a certain daily 
paper among a list of books which many people deem unfit 
reading for any respedlable household. The " Escaped Nun," 
Mrs. O'Gorman Auffray, on account of her sex, was not 
admissable to membership of the Orange society, but "the 
services which the lady has rendered to the cause of Protest- 
antism wherever she has ledlured " were duly appreciated by 
the Vicftorian Grand Lodge. At a meeting of the Grand 
Committee (29th Sept., 1886) it was resolved that : " In order 
to have Mrs. O'Gorman AufFray's lecftures fully reported, a 
weekly issue of the Vidtorian Standard [it is a monthly publi- 
cation] should be printed and circulated among the lodges."*^ 
This was accordingly done. 

"marrying papists." 

(c) Protestants who Marry Catholics. — Portion of Rule 2 
(quoted above) runs as follows : " No person who . . . 
has married one [a Catholic] shall be admitted into the insti- 
tution. . . . Any member marrying a Roman Catholic 
shall be expelled." This rule prevents the class of Protestants 
referred to from being either candidates for, or members of, the 
Orange institution. The rule is rigidly enforced. Mr. G. 
Gwynne, an Orangeman, who, at his own request, and on 
behalf of the Irish Grand Lodge, gave evidence regarding the 
rules, etc., of the institution before the Royal Commission of 
Inquiry into the great Belfast Riots of 1857, said : " Whenever 
a charge is brought against a member of marrying a Roman 
Catholic, he is uniformly expelled."'^^ They apparently do not even 
wait for proof of the charge. Mr. Gwynne was high in the 

proved so exceedingly lucrative that the profession has been for the past 
few years uncomfortably crowded. The adtion of the law courts in 
England, Scotland, and America has somewhat reduced the congestion, 
and resulted in a considerable number of "ex-priests" and "ex-nuns" — 
many of whom were proved to be members 0/ various Protestant Churches — being 
placed in locum suum, under lock and key in jail. Among these were sundry 
favourites of the American Orange association, the A.P.A., which has, iii 
consequence, recently sent a circular to its lodges to have nothing further 
to do with'"ex-priests," "ex-nuns," etc. The writer has in his possession 
a large amount of information dealing with particulars of the cases here 
referred to in general terms. 

^^Victorian Standard, ist November, 1886. 

*^Minutes of Evidence, etc., Q. 8404. 



confidence of the Grand Lodge, and he declared, moreover, 
that he knew the private lodges " minutely and extensively in 
every part of the kingdom."^" The promptness with which a 
mere accusation of marrying a Papist is a(5ted upon in the 
Orange society, is further evidenced by what took place at a 
meeting of the " Chosen Few" lodge (No. 2), Melbourne, 
November 12, 1896, as reported in the Vidlovian Standard : " A 
report was received in the matter of a member who was stated 
to have married a Roman Catholic. The report tended to con- 
firm the statement, and the secretary was instrudled to com- 
municate with the alleged offender, summoning him to appear 
and say why he should not be recommended for expulsion." ^^ 

The reports of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of 
Ireland for May, 1855; November, 1855; May, 1856; and 
November, 1856 (which lie before me),^^ contain an endless 
number of entries like the following : " County Antrim — 
Expulsion — Thomas Baird, lodge 654, for marrying a Papist." 
The Royal Commissioners say in their Report ^^ : "Similar 
expressions are very numerous in the proceedings handed to 
us. This strongly expressed feeling against so large a class of 
their fellow-countrymen seems a perilous bond of union for a 
virtually secret society, embracing within it so largely the 
uneducated classes of society." During the debate on the 
Party Processions A(ft, Mr. M'Carthy Downing, on the 30th 
March, 1870, referred to the printed proceedings of the Irish 
Grand Lodge for 1869, which showed that, in Armagh county 
alone during that year, twenty-three Orangemen were expelled 
for the crime of marrying Papists.^* 

We have already seen how candidates, on their initiation 
to the Orange degree, have to take what is tantamount to an 
oath that they will not marry a Catholic, or permit any child 
of theirs to do so. The determination of Orangemen to exclude 
from the lodges, at all costs, everything which savours of 
friendly feeling towards their " Roman Catholic brethren," finds 
vigorously frank expression in the two following rules of the 
Vicftorian society (1893). Rule 14 runs thus: 

"14. Any member guilty of an offence of an aggravated 
character against religion or morality, or of habitual drunkenness, shall 
be [only] liable to expulsion." Rule i peremptorily orders : 

^°Ibid., Q. 8347. 

^'^Victorian Standard, November 30, 1896. Deputy Grand Ma-stei- R 
T. Vale presided at the meeting with the Master of the lodge. 

s^Appendix to Report of Royal Commission ot Inquiry, 1857. 

fisPp. 9, 10. 

''^Hansard, vol. ii., of first session, 1870, p. 953. 

97 G 


" Any member marrying a Roman Catholic shall he expelled." 

Comment is quite unnecessary. 

The feeUng of Orangemen with regard to Protestants who 

marry Papist wives is strongly, if inelegantly, expressed in an 

Ulster lodge ditty, given in the Contemporary Review for August, 


" Let no loyal Protestant e'er have it said, 
That he to a Papist wife e'er should get wed, 
She's hateful, deceitful, she'll prove false to thee, 
She's worse than the devil, if worse there can be." 

A Protestant Edwin who marries a Papist Angelina lays 
himself open to the suspicion of entertaining kindly feelings to 

No Protestant that " marries a Papist" need apply. 


[d) By the term " liberal-minded Protestants," I mean 
those who were known to have a kindly feeling for their 
Catholic neighbours ; who advocated the extension of equal 
civil rights to four-fifths of the population of Ireland ; who, as 
magistrates or police officers, tried to prevent illegal Orange 
processions, or to protedt Papists from insult, violence, or 
outrage ; or who disapproved of the scandalous partiality of 
Orange magistrates and juries, which has been sternly 
denounced by successive judges, from Fletcher in 1814 to 
Day in 1886, and which forms such a dark blot on the 
administration of justice in Ulster to the present day. All 
down the course of Orange history these classes of liberal 
Protestants have been pursued by Orangemen with a vindi(51:ive 
hatred of scarcely less intensity than that which they have 
shown to Catholics themselves. " Papist" is the favourite 
term which Orangemen have ever applied to liberal-minded 
Protestants. I need only refer to a few out of the endless 
instances which were deposed to on oath before the Parlia- 
mentary Seledl Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges : 

Two Protestant Viceroys, Lords Wellesley and Anglesey, 
were vilified, and termed " Papist Wellesley" and " Papist 
Anglesey" for having dared to entertain opinions favourable to 
Catholic Emancipation. The former was violently assaulted, 
a bottle and other missiles being flung at him, amidst Orange 
cries, by brethren of lodge 1612, on the 14th December, 
1822.®^ This event is still known in Dublin history as " the 
bottle riot." The Grand Lodge of Ireland expelled two clergy- 
men and others who had dared to vote for the Reform candi- 

^^ Minutes oj Evidence. Cf. History of Orangcism, pp. 157, 158. 



dates in the eledTiions of 1831.^^ The "loyal" Orange yeomanry 
of Lurgan mutinied against a Presbyterian officer whose only 
fault was that he had signed a petition in favour of Catholic 
Emancipation. The conducft of the mutineers was so out- 
rageous, even in the presence of Lieutenant-General Mac- 
kenzie, that the corps had to be disbanded." Lord Caledon 
was assailed and hooted as a " Papist " for having refused to 
preside at an Orange demonstration at Dungannon, 19th 
December, 1834. The Ulster Protestant magistrates. Hand- 
cock, Wilson, Brownlow, Strong, Lord Caledon, and many 
others, the Protestant Police Inspec5lors, Sir Frederick Stoven, 
Captains Duff", Crofton, etc., were termed " Papists," vilified, 
shot at, burned in effigy, etc. ; while in some instances their 
property was destroyed, because they had issued warrants 
against Orange rioters or murderers, attempted to stop illegal 
processions of armed brethren, endeavoured to do justice to 
Catholics on the bench, etc.*^ Ex-SherifF Scott, of Dublin, 
was termed a " Papist," and expelled from the society by the 
Grand Lodge, for having invited O'Connellto breakfast. ^^ The 
present Anglican Primate of Ireland was, in 1887, insulted on 
the occasion of his inviting the distinguished author^ Justin 
M'Carthy, M.P., to dine at his palace in the city of Derry, 
when he was bishop of the united Anglican sees of Derry and 
Raphoe.™ Many Ulster men will remember the angry corres- 
pondence that took place in the Belfast morning papers, in 
1882, when Weir, Marshall, and other Orange farmers, of 
Kinego and Bondhill, in furtherance of the interests of their 
class, joined the Land League, and became thereby " rebels" 
and " Papists," and were expelled from the society as traitors 
to the Orange cause.^^ 


Orangemen will not permit even the Sovereign of the 
Realm to manifest a friendly feeling towards his or her Catholic 
subjedls. Witness the uproar of the lodges against the signing 
of the Emancipation Bill in iSag,'^-' the condemnation of which 

^^Minutes of Evidence. Qq. 1939, 1940. 

^''Ihid. Qq. 3773-4 ; 7913 sqq., and Appendix B. 9. 

^^Minutes of Evidence. Qq. 3938, 4522, 4526, 5641, 7920, 8157, 8160, 
and Appendix C.6 c, p. 139. 

s^The resolution of the Grand Lodge is given in the Minutes of 
Evidence, Q. 1943. 

^oThe following words were chalked on the walls of his palace on the 
occasion: " Ichabod ! Thy glory is departed." See Derry Journal o{ that 

siPortion of the correspondence on the subjedt is quoted b) " M.P.' 
in History of Orangeism, p. 268. 

•'■'The riots and uproar continued well on into the thirties, and evoked 
the Party Processions Adt of 1832. Threats of armed insurredlion were 



finds a vigorous echo to this day in the official organs of the 
Orange society/^ 

The still more vigorous outcry of the brethren against theii 
Queen on the occasion of the Disestablishment of the Irish 
Church, and the death of party ascendency, in i86g, is a matter 
of history. A clergyman, Rev. " Flaming" Flanagan, declared 
at an Orange meeting at Newbliss (county Monaghan), March 
2oth, 1868, that if the Disestablishment Bill received the Royal 
assent they would " kick the Queen's crown into the Boyne." 
This saying became a watchword among Orangemen during 
the remainder of the agitation. 

A favourite contention of the Orange platform was this : 
That the signing of the Emancipation and Disestablishment 
Bills would be a violation of the Sovereign's coronation oath. 
Rev. Mr. Flanagan bluntly declared at Newbliss that, by 
signing the latter Bill, the Queen would "perjure herself." 
" We must," said he, "tell our most gracious Queen that, ij 
she break her oath, she has no longer a claim- to the Crown." ®^ A 
large body of Orange clergymen, la'.vyers. Grand Lodge 
officers, etc., whose words lie before me, made use of language 
scarcely less forcible than that of Mr. Flanagan, during the 
Disestablishment agitation in 1868 and 1869. 

A faint echo of the platform thunders of '68 and '6g 
has penetrated even to this remote colony of the Empire. 
Should the files of the Vidiorian Standard (the lodge organ) ever 
reach the royal reading desk, Her Majesty will undoubtedly be 
deeply concerned to learn that her Protestantism will not pass 
muster with some, at least, of her Orange subjects in Vicfloria. 
A Worshipful Master, at the Rochester demonstration in 1893, 
condemned the Queen and her daughter for having dared to be 
present "at a Popish and idolatrous ceremony." ^^ At the 

made as frequently as in 1868 and 1869. As far back as 1810, during the 
trial of Howard, an Orange yeoman, for murder, at the Kilkenny assizes, 
the prosecutor elicited from another yeoman (a witness) that he felt him- 
self absolved from his allegiance, should the King grant Emancipation to 
the Catholics (" M.P.," p. 139. Cf. Minutes of Evidence, Irish Report). 

s^For instance, in Victorian Standard, editorial paragraph. May, 1893, 
p. 6, col. I. Cf. chap, ix., infra, near end. 

6*An extended report of this speech is given in the Northern Whig, 
March 21, 1868. The files of the Daily Express (the chief Dublin organ cf 
the lodges) for 1868 and 1869, abound in similar language. 

^^ Victorian Standard, July, 1893, p. 10, first column. Is her Majesty 
the Queen a Papist — or still worse — a Jesuit, in disguise? At any rate 
her whole condudt is a daily and hourly outrage on Orangeism, which, we 
are assured, is simply "Protestantism in earnest." A recent list of her 
Privy Councillors contains the names of six Catholics. She — without 
protest — allows her Catholic Generals, Butler, Dillon, etc., to win battles 
tor her, a Catholic admiral (White) to help to "rule the Queen's navee;" 

1 00 


Kyneton Orange anniversary, in 1888, Rev. Mr. Johnson is 
reported by the Vidiovian Standard to have read a letter, in 
which " the facfl [was] deplored that their Protestant Queen 
had sent presents to her own and God's enemy [the Pope] — had 
sent him the very vestments to celebrate that idolatrous 
service, the Mass, and exchanged with him compliments and 
good wishes."^ In its editorial matter, the Vidiorian Standard 
has held up to the odium of the brethren the Prince and 
Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family, 
for " dallying with the dragon " — that is, for the evidences of 
the friendly spirit whioh they have from time to time displayed 
towards the Catholic Church."'' The Queen and her family 
are evidently not Protestants of "the right sort." 

The editor of the same lodge organ thus applies his cat-o'- 
nine tails to those " namby-pamby " Protestants who believe 
in living at peace with their Catholic neighbours : " The 
aggressiveness of the harlot Church [of Rome] is apparently 
too irresistable for the paltering />5^«rfo- Protestants of the 
present age, whose unstrung backbones collapse at the mere 
though of resisting the domination of Rome."''^ Numberless 
other instances of the intense bitterness of Orangemen towards 
liberal-minded Protestants will be found in the Reports of the 
Parliamentary Committees of 1835 ; in the histories of the 

and a Catholic statesman (Lord Ripon) to rule India better than any of 
his predecessors. Her Lord Chamberlain is a Catholic. Cardinal 
Vaughan is invited by her and the Prince of Wales to royal garden parties ; 
and she purchases pidtures from the Catholic artists, Mr. Herbert, R.A., 
and Miss Alice Havers. She has been guilty, in 1895, and 1896, of pre- 
senting vestments to a Catholic church, and linen to Nazareth House, 
Hammersmith, besides allowing her grand-daughter to be married, by the 
Pope's dispensation, to a member of the Catholic House of Hohenzollern. 
The marriage was followed by a solemn High Mass, at which the Prince 
of Wales and numerous members of the Royal Family were present. 
Princess Maude, also, accepted a present of a valuable antique gold brace- 
let from the Man of Sin. According to the Daily Chronicle, Queen Vidoria 
sent a cordial reply to the Pope's congratulations on her attaining the 
longest reign in English history. 

^^Victonan Standard, August, 1888, p. 7, col. 2. 

^''See, for instance, Victorian Standard for May, 1893, p. 3., col. i. The 
Prince is condemned in strong terms for the marked esteem in which he 
holds " the apostate Manning." The Princess and her son are likewise 
ledtured for having visited " the head of the Popish Church in Rome." 
The "editor's notes" continue: "Will the English, Scotch, Irish, and 
colonial Protestants open their eyes to this fraternising with Rome, and 
denounce the adts as they should before it is too late ?" On September i, 
t86o, the Prince of Wales refused to accept the "proflered hospitahty" of 
the Mayor and Corporation of Kingston, Toronto, " on account of the 
extent to which they had permitted their Orange zeal to interfere with the 
invitation." Irving's Annuals of Our Times, 1837-1S7I, p. 583. Cf. Chambers' 
Encyclopcedia and McClintock's Cyclopadia, arts. " Orangemen." 

^»Ibid, p. 6. 



Emancipation, Reform, Education, Repeal, Franchise, and 
other movements, and in the Reports of the Royal Commissions 
of Inquiry into the Belfast and Derry sectarian riots of 1857, 
1864, 1869, 1883, and 1886. Kindly feeling towards Catholics 
disqualifies from membership of the Orange association. 
No liberal-minded Protestant need apply. 


To the average Orangeman, liberal-minded Protestants are 
" Papists," or little better than Papists. It may be interesting 
to know what some of these latter think of the peculiar form of 
Christianity which passes for Protestantism in the lodges. 

The Seledt Committee of the House of Commons, appointed 
in 1835 to inquire into Orangeism in Great Britain and the 
colonies, was composed of twenty-three members, only two ol 
whom (Mr. Finn and Hon. Lalor Sheil) were Catholics. In their 
Report to Parliament (p. xxvi.) they express themselves as 
"anxiouslydesirous of seeing the United Kingdom and the colon- 
ies of the Empire freed from the haneful and tinchristian infiuence 
of the Orange societies." The following extradl from the same 
Report will sufficiently determine what, in their eyes, constituted 
one fadtor in the " unchristian influence" of the lodges : 

"The obvious tendency and effecft of the Orange institution 
is, to keep up an exclusive association in civil and military 
society, exciting one portion of the people against the other ; 
to increase the rancour and animosity too often unfortunately 
existing between persons of different religious persuasions — to 
make the Protestant tne enemy of the Catholic, and the Catholic 
the enemy of the Protestant." The truth of this official utter- 
ance will become apparent as we proceed. 

Dr. Killen, the Presbyterian historian, describes the early 
Orangemen as " the very scum of society, and a disgrace to 
Protestantism."^^ On the 5th July, 1832, Lord Caledon (a 
Protestant), wrote to Col. Verner denying the Colonel's asser- 
tion that " the word Orangemen means Protestants generally," 
and concluding thus : " I consider the Orange system as tend- 
ing to disunite us [Protestants] , when our religion alone should 
be a sufficient bond for union." ™ Miss Harriet Martineau 
says that, in one of the English Grand Lodge circulars," 
" the position of the [Established] Church in the eyes 
of Orangemen of the period is described in language too 
mdecent for publication," and she wonders what " theory of 

^^EccUs. Hist, of Irelatid, vol. 2, p. 359, note. 

'OQuoted by him in full before Pari. Committee of 1835 ; Q. 5473 ; cf. 
Ql- 3535' 3885, 3992. 

''i Appeal to the Conservatives of England, given in Appendix 5, p. 92, to 
English Report: cf. Q. 2S62. 



Christianity " such men can hold.''^ The Earl of Gosford, who 
had witnessed the progress of Orangeism since 1795, declared 
before the Parliamentary Committee of 1835, that, so far from 
being necessary for the defence of Protestantism, it rather 
weakened it.^^ Sir Frederick Stoven a Protestant, and 
Inspedtor-General of Constabulary, deposed before the same 
Committee that Orangeism was the cause of religious dissen- 
sion, and was absolutely injurious to the cause of religion.'^ 
Mr. James Sinclair, an Ulster Protestant magistrate, stated 
that the society was producftive of very injurious consequences 
to the Protestant religion.''^ The Edinburgh Review of January, 
1836, dealing with the evidence placed before the Parlia- 
mentary Committees of the previous year, says : " There can 
be no doubt that Orangeism has been, and continues to be, 
hurtful to the very cause and principles which it professes to 
support. Our charges against it are : That it has rendered 
Protestantism weaker than it found it ; that it has fomented 
hostile and intolerant feelings between co-secSts of the Christian 
religion," etc. In 1820, the rules of the society were revised, 
pursuant to a resolution which stated that pra(5lices had been 
adopted in the order " offensive to common decency."'® 

I must end somewhere. The difficulty consists in 
choosing extracfts out of the abundant materials available 
under this head. The reader will note that here, as throughout 
the rest of these pages, the strongest condemnation of the 
principles and pracftices of the Orange association is that 
which comes, not from Catholic, but from Protestant, sources. 

In all its records I have failed to find a single instance in 
which — even at the height of its wealth and power — the 
Orange society ever turned aside from the cherished task of 
fomenting secftarian strife, to found or endow even one 
solitary hospital, one home for the aged, one orphanage, one 
free school, one college, one university ; or that it ever sent a 
missionary to the heathen, or a voice to speak of Christ to the 
dwellers in the slums. Where are the trophies of its 
Christianity ? To sum up : 

1. The Orange society rigidly excludes Catholics from 

2. It excludes from membership all Protestants who are 
open to even the suspicion of entertaining kindly feelings 
towards Catholics. 

''^The Thirty Year's Peace, vol. ii., pp. 273, 274. 
''^Minutes of Evidence. Q. 3535. Cf. Qq. 3474, ^885, 3992. 
'^i/hid.. Qq. 4627, 4630, 4651, 4700, 4703. 
''^Ibid., Q. 4967. 
'^Healey's Word for Ireland, p. 148. 



3. Membership is thus pracftically limited to the more 
intolerant classes of Protestants. The reader has already seen 
that Orangeism is recruited very largely from the " lower 
orders" and " the uneducated classes of society."" 

4. Their intolerance must be acflive. They are required by 
their " qualiiications " to "resist," and to "strenuously oppose" 
the Church of Rome. In the eighth and following chapters 
we shall see that this antagonism includes press and platform 
attacks of a peculiarly gross nature on the whole Catholic 
body, and an incessant warfare against their religious and 
political rights and liberties. 

Here we have the crude materials of intolerance in, so to 
speak, the nebular state. The next two chapters will 
deal with the forces which mould them ir^io shape; 
the gviiding minds which diredl their adlivities along their 
appointed course. 

'■'Sillen and others, quoted above, chap. iv. 



Chapter VL 


*< A THING that will not bear the Hght of investigation, has no 
right to live." So spoke Grand Chaplain Rev. H. Heather- 
shaw to the brethren at Kew (Vicftoria), as reported in the lodge 
organ, the Vidiorian Standard, oi August 31, 1896. In treating 
of the organisation of the Orange institution, we must ever 
bear in mind that we are dealing with " a thing that will not 
bear investigation" — with a secret society which has success- 
fully baffled the attempts made, even by the British Parlia- 
ment, to penetrate into certain dark corners of its hidden policy 
and methods. Such secrecy furnishes, by itself, and a priori, 
grounds of distrust. Poisonous fungi and woodleeches hug 
the deep shade of the lonely forest. We not unreasonably 
suspe(5t associations of our fellow-men when their operations 
— like those of the thief, burglar, and assassin — must be 
condudled under a cloak of secrecy. "Woe," said the 
prophet, " to them that are deep of heart, whose works are in 
the dark, and who say : Who seeth us, and who knoweth 
us ?"^ St. Paul reminds us that we are " light in the Lord," 
and bids us walk as children of the light. ^ But, above all, the 
Saviour of mankind spoke words so distincfl that one might 
almost suppose they were directed against such unlawful 
associations : " Everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, and 
cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved."' 
This a priori suspicion that attaches to mystery of this 
kind is increased by even a moderate acquaintance with the 
recorded doings of secret societies, such as the lUuminati, 
the Sons of Satan, the Carbonari, the Know-nothings (the 
Orangemen of the United States), the Communists, the Inter- 
national, the Nihilists, the bomb-throwing Anarchists, the 

i/s., xxxix., 15. 

^Thess., v., 5 ; Eph., v., 8, etc. 

^St. John, iii., 20. 



Luciferians, the Mala Vita, and the rest.* Their records prove 
that they have almost uniformly masked their real aims and 
methods by fair-sounding phrases and by fine professions, like 
the "qualifications" and the "basis" of Orangeism, which 
the Parliamentary Committees of 1835 and the Belfast Royal 
Commission of 1857 proved to be as empty as the bubbles 
blown by schoolboys. 

M. Hamon has recently written a book® to prove that the 
" qualification?" of the anarchists who are scattering explosives 
all over Europe are "love of liberty," "tender-heartedness," 
"a sense of logic," "a feeling of justice," "love of others," 
and "a thirst for knowledge !" Such fair professions are but 
the decent drapery with which dark-lantern associations conceal 
ultimate aims and methods of work which, if exposed to the 
light of day, would shock all friends of peace and order. In 
1835, when the secrets of the Orange institution were for the 
first time laid bare to the world, the association was in the 
zenith of its power, numbering 20 grand lodges, 80 distridl 
lodges, 1,500 private lodges, and — in England and Ireland 
alone — from 340,000 to 360,000 members, of every class in 
society up to the Imperial Grand Master, the Duke of 
Cumberland. The result of the exposure was that the English 
lodges were dissolved, the " respedfability" of the Irish lodges 
gradually diminished, until at the present time their member- 
ship is mainly confined to "the very lowest classes in the 
North of Ireland."" 


Secrecy was from the outset, and is to the present day, a 
vital rule of the Orange institution. The Early Oydinances oj 
the Armagh Orangemen (King: Dublin, 1 801) say: "Our society 
/'t'ing a secret me . . any Orangeman introducing same 
[Papists] , or making known the secrets of our body to such 
Papists, will be treated by us as a renegade and a perjurer, 
and in all respecfls like to a Papist."' The English Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835 term it in their Report a secret 
society. Colonel Verner and Rev. Holt Waring admitted 
before the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 that secrecy was 
one of the first rules of the Orange institution. The Dublin 

4The reader is referred to Frost's Seci'et Societies of the European Revo- 
lution, The Secret War/are, etc., English edition (Burns and Oates) ; The 
Wars and Revolutions of Italy, etc., by Count Lubienski. 

^Psychologiede I'Anarchiste-Socialiste, Paris, 1896. 

^Chambers' Encyclop., art. "Orangemen." Compare Killen's Eccles. 
Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., p. 465 ; Report of Royal Commission, Belfast, 1S57, 
pp. 9, 10. 

''Quoted by "M.P.", History of Orangeism, p. 81. 



Daily Express — the friend of the Orange party — declared it to 
be still, in 1857, " a secret political society, unfit for an age 
such as this ; " and again, that " the Orange institution is a 
secret one, unknown to the law, antagonistic in principle to the 
larger portion of the people," etc. A second article by the 
same paper on the same subjecT; says : " There is one thing 
connecfled with Orangeism which we hold to be utterly 
unworthy of a free country, nurtured by Protestantism and 
the British Constitution, and that is its secrecy. What should 
Protestants have to say to each other which they must whisper 
in private lodges, as if they dwelt in a land cursed by despotism 
and espionage, dogged by gens d'armes ? Why should honour- 
able, high-spirited gentlemen and brave-hearted yeomen stoop 
to the self-imposed necessity of communicating with each other 
by secret signs and passwords?"^ According to the Ararat 
[Vicftoria] Advertiser of July 19, 1892, Rev. (afterwards Grand 
Chaplain) Heathershaw, speaking at a demonstration in that 
town, said : " If people chose, it might be said that it was a 
secret society;" and the Orange tracft before referred to admits 
and justifies its secrecy, as a means "to secure united acStion 
and a vote on all important occasions." ^ 

The principal means adopted for safe-guarding the secrets 
of the lodge are the following : 

1. The division of members into various orders or "degrees" 
— Orange, Purple, Black Preceptory, etc. — each having its own 
set of jealously-guarded secrets, signs, passwords. 

2. Oaths, tests, secret signs, and passwords ; "tyling" or guard- 
ing the lodge doors during the deliberations of members, etc. 

3. Concealment of the books and documents of the lodge. 

I. Colonel Verner admitted before the Parliamentary Com- 
mittee of 1835 that the Purple or higher degree of the private 
lodges was instituted expressly "for the purpose of excluding 
improper persons."^" This is a well-known device of secret 
societies. It keeps the criminal schemes of the lodges, which 
would not bear the light, within the power of a small clique of 
leaders, and safe from the great body of the associates, to whom 
it might not be prudent to commit them. The revised rules of 
1845 require absolute secrecy from all, and add " that a Purple- 
man, before being initiated, should be distincftly known to be a 
man who would not reveal things confided to him, even to an 

^Quoted in " M.P.'s" History of Orayigeism, pp. 237-238. The articles 
appeared in consequence of Lord Chancellor Brady's order, refusing the 
Commission of the Peace to Orangemen, in 1857. 

^Definition of Orangeism. 

^°Mtnutes of Evidence, Q. 471. He would not reveal the Purple signs 
(Q. 511), which, he stated, were unknown to mere Orangemen (Qq. 476,492). 



Orangeman." " An oath to this effeifl appears in the rules of 
1800. It is termed the Purple Marksmai/s obligation. Part 
of this oath runs as follows : "I, A.B., of my own free will 
and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, do hereby most 
solemnly and sincerely swear that . . . . / will keep this 
part of a Marksman from an Omngeman, as well as from the 
ignorant." ^'^ 

In the Irish revised rules of 1849, the following are laid 
down as the qualifications of a Purple-man : " He should be 
one who may be depended on to keep all matters and all things 
conjided to him, as a Pnrple-man, even from an Oravoeman, as well 
as from a stranger to the Orange institution."^^ Purple-men 
have to this day a series of secret signs and passwords which 
are unknown to the mere members of the Orange degree. 


2. The rules of 1800 contain two oaths of secrecy, the one 
referred to above, and the following : " And I do further swear, 
in the presence of Almighty God, that I will always conceal, 
and never will reveal, either part or parts of this that I am now 
about to receive, neither write it. indite it, stamp, stain, nor 
engrave it, nor cause it so to be done on paper, parchment, 
leaf, bark, brick, stone, or anything, so that it might be 
known.'' " Oaths of secrecy were retained in the revised rules 
of 1814 and 1824.^^ 

After the " bottle riot," which took place in Dublin on the 
14th ot December, 1822, the Orange assailants of the Protes- 
tant Viceroy, " Papist " Wellesley, were placed upon their 
trial. There were general and serious charges that the jury 
was packed with those who were known to be " good men 
in bad times." A Committee of the House of Commons 
was appointed to investigate the matter. Sir Abraham B. 
King — who had been an Orangeman since 1797 — was ques- 
tioned as to the signs and oaths of the fraternity. He 
declined to divulge them ; threatened with the displeasure of 
the House, he still persisted in his refusal. The Report of 
the English Parliamentary Seledl: Committee copies from the 
records of the English Grand Lodge of June i6th, 1823, a vote 

iiRules of 1845, in Ma.dden's Lives attd Titnes, etc.; also published as 
separate pamphlet, Dublin, i86r. 

i2In Appendix to Parliamentary Report of 1835. The Purple signs are 
not revealed to Orangemen. Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 476, 492. 

i^The Irish rules of 1849 are given in full in Appendix 14 to Report of 
the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Belfast riots of 1857, q.v., p. 275. 

1* English Parliamentary Committee's iJ^/ori of 1835, p. 6; Plowden, 
loc. cit., supra. 

^^Ihid. Barry O'Brien's Thomas Drummond, p. 183, note 2 (113). 



of thanks passed by that body to Sir Abraham, for the 
" gentlemanly, firm, and conscientious condudl: he displayed at 
the bar of the House of Commons" on the occasion referred to. 
These oaths, signs, and tests have been made illegal by 
50th George HI., cap. 102 ; the 4th George IV., cap. 87; 2nd 
and 3rd Vicftoria, cap. 64 ; 8th and 9th Vicftoria, cap. 55. The 
only apparent efFe(5t of these Acfts was to remove the oaths and 
tests from the books of rules, etc., of the Orange institution. 
In 1813 the state of the law made it prudent to alter the printed 
rules of the English Grand Lodge. On the 4th of August of 
that year a committee was appointed for the purpose of enabling 
the brethren (as the Grand Secretary frankly put it) " to elude 
the grasp" of the law. Under no circumstances, however, 
could they see how the secret signs and passwords " can be dis- 
pensed with." '^ In December, 1821, the English Grand Lodge 
consulted Mr. Sergeant Lens as to the legality of the institution 
in the existing state of the law. In the course of his reply, he 
said : " The secret signs and symbols, which may be changed 
from time to time, I cannot help thinking, are objecftionable, 
and if any question were hereafter to arise on the legality of its 
[the society's] proceedings, might be urged as a circumstance of 
great suspicion.'^ " 

The use of secret signs, by means of which Orangemen 
may recognise a brother in a crowd, continues in full force to 
the present day. The wearing of a five-pointed metallic star as a 
watch-guard pendant is, at the present time (1897), one means 
to that end in VicStoria.^^ Canon D. M. Berry, incumbent of 
Trinity Church, East Melbourne, in a speech which he is 
reported to have delivered at a meeting of his lodge (No. 33, 
Duke of Sussex) said: "He (the Canon) desired to add that he 
had but a poor memory for faces and names, and if he should 
meet any of them out of the lodge, and fail to recognise them, all 
they had to do was to give him the grip, and then recognition 
would take place. "^^ Grips and such-like secret signs are 
among the many items of lodge ceremonial which find no place 
in the printed rules or ritual of the institution. 

In 0(ftober, 1826, in consequence of the disclosure of the 
signs and passwords of the time, a number of the brethren were 

i^Appendix to Report of English Pari. Committee, p. 179, and Mr. R. 
Nixon's letter to the Earl of Yarmouth. 

1'^ Appendix to English Committee's Report. Cf. Minutes of Evidence 
(Lord Kenyon's), Qq. 2, 6, 7, etc. 

18 After their annual eledlions in November, 1896, a number of these 
ornaments were presented by various lodges to their retiring officers. 
Victorian Standard, November 30, 1896. 

^^Ibid., p. II. The same paper, in its issue of June 30, 1897, tells how 
a candidate, on his initiation, "received the signs, password, and grip." 



expelled : new rules and a new system of signs were adopted, 
which continued in force until 1834, Up till 1835 (the year of 
the Parliamentary inquiry into Orangeism) oaths and declara- 
tions — all of which were decidedly illegal — continued to be 
administered in the lodges on the initiation of members.^" The 
oath of secvecy had been — in consequence of the pressure of the 
law — excised from the printed rules. Secrecy was, however, as 
effecftually secured as ever by methods to which further 
reference will be made in the course of this chapter. 

In consequence of the grave charaifter of the disclosures 
elicited by the Parliamentary Committees of 1835, the House 
of Commons, on the 23rd of February, 1 836, «ma«w«0H5(y prayed 
the King (on the motion of Lord John Russell), to put down 
Orange societies. In his reply, the King called upon all his 
"loyal subjecfts " to aid him in his efforts for "the efFedlual 
discouragement of Orange societies, and generally, of all 
political societies excluding persons of different religious 
faith, using signs and symbols, and acfting by associated 
branches." '^^ In consequence of the acftion of the King and of 
Parliament, a Treasury Minute was issued, dated March 13, 
1836, ordering that all Civil Servants who should become or 
continue members of the Orange association, should be dis- 
missed. I shall deal more fully with this subjedl in a later 


In spite of the known illegality of oaths, tests, etc., there is 
abundant evidence to show that they were in use in the 
Orange lodges long after their disappearance from the printed 
rules and rituals of the association. The revised Irish rules 
of 1849 provide for " a test " (not specified), which is deemed 
" important and desirable." A wide scope for illegal pradlices 
of this kind is, perhaps not undesignedly, furnished to the 
society, by the rule which entitles all private lodges to make 
by-laws for themselves, with no other restri(flion than that 
such by-laws shall not be " inconsistent with the [printed ?] 
laws of the institution," and that they shall be confirmed by 
the Grand Lodge.^^ In his examination before the Belfast 
Royal Commission, Grand Master the Earl of Enniskillen 
professed total ignorance of the existence of secret signs, etc., 
in the Orange society. The Commissioners, however, dechned 
to accept his statement, and referred to the evidence of Mr. 
George Stewart Hill and others as positive proof that these 

^^Report of English Committee. 

21 See Hansard, Third Series, vol. xxxi., pp. 332, 345, 779, 859. 

29Rule 68 of the Laws and Constitution of the Viftorian Lodges, 1893. 


things " still exist in the very classes of society where they are 
most dangerous."^' Mr. George Stewart Hill was a Sub- 
Inspedlior of constabulary. He swore that he knew, " from 
his experience as a police officer," that the Orange society had 
"secret signs." ^^ Robert Blair, an Orangeman (member of 
lodge No. 553, Dundrod), after the usual hedging and loss of 
memory so charaefteristic of the brethren when in the witness- 
box, swore that he had received the signs and passwords "from 
the Master " [of the lodge] .^^ He was further asked by the 
Royal Commissioners of 1857 • 

" Q. 7767 : You were sworn when you entered the lodge ? 
Of course I was sworn when I entered the lodge." 

" Q. 7772 : What were you sworn on ? / was sworn on the 
Neiv Testament.'' (He repeated this statement at Q. 7775). 

William John Cleland — another Orangeman — was ex- 
amined by the Belfast Royal Commission of 1857. ^^ 
admitted having taken an oath in the Orange lodge, hut 
absolutely refused to divulge what it bound him to."^^ He granted 
that he would know an Orange sign if he saw it.^' He, how- 
ever, positively refused to give any further information as to 
the signs, passwords, etc.-® When urged by the Com- 
missioners to answer the questions put to him, he said : " I 
would be very sorry, honourable gentlemen, to refuse to 
answer you any question ; but if you knew anything about the 
[Orange] system, you know I shotdd not answer that." 

Similar evidence was elicited from equally unwilling 
witnesses at the inquiry held in Magherafeit, in April, 1874, 
regarding the riots of Bellaghya,ndCastledawson. John Martin, 
who had been " fifteen years an Orangeman," admitted, 
under great pressure: "There are secret signs and pass- 
words in connecflion with the Orange institution, and that is all 
I will tell you." Martin Davidson, Master of lodge 151 1 — when 
at length prevailed upon by the court to answer — corroborated 
Martin's evidence by saying : " Of course there are secret signs 
and passwords in connedliion with the Orange society." 

^^Report, pp. 10, II. 

^^Mmutes of Evidence, Qr[ 7281-728''. His uncle was, according to the 
evidence, Master of a lodge. 

•^^lUd., Qq. 7739, 7759. 

^^Ibid., Qq. 7818-7819. In this same year — 1857 — the Dublin Daily 
Express (the mouthpiece of the Orange party), in a leader on Lord 
Chancellor Brady's order, asks the pregnant question: "By what right 
does the Orange society impose an oath to bind the consciences of Christian 
men?" Quoted by " M.P.," History of Orangeism, p. 238. 

'■^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 7811. 

^^Ibid., Qq. 7804, 7S06. Mr. W. S. Tracy, a magistrate, and Head- 
Constable Henderson had both reason to believe in the existence of secret 
signs, etc. Qq. 448, sqq. 



Andrew Kennedy, a member of lodge g6 (Castledawson), said 
he was not aware that he " ever knew an Orangeman who had 
not the signs and passwords." His evidence also shows that 
he took an oath as an Orangeman. William Gray, another very 
unsatisfacftory Orange witness, admitted the existence of secret 
signs and passwords in the lodges. He believed they always 
came from Dublin. They were given to him by the Master 
of the lodge. His evidence also shows that he likewise took 
an oath at his initiation as member of the Orange associa- 
tion.^" The free-and-easy manner in which the brethren 
coquette with the Oaths Acfl is illustrated by a "scheme" 
issued in 1884 by the Master of Dyan lodge "for the better 
organization of the Orange society as a fighting force." It is 
given in full in the first two pages of Healy's Loyalty plus Murder, 
and contains the following: "That on enrolment each man 
should be re-attached (as in the case of militia reserve men), 
and sworn to obey the orders of the Districft Master or Council." 
Apart from their general policy of secrecy, there are other urgent 
grounds for the blushing relucftance of the loyal brethren to con- 
fess, in courts of justice, the soft impeachment of the initiation 
oath : under British law, persons who take or administer such un- 
lawful oaths are liable to penal servitude for seven years.*"* In 
Ireland the signs and passwords are altered (I think) annually 
by the Grand Lodge ; in the federated lodges of Australia they 
are changed at the triennial meetings of the Grand Council.^' 
In Canada, in 1882, the Supreme Court judges {in re Grant v. 
the Mayor of Montreal) decided that the Orange society "is an 
illegal body, and its members may be prosecuted and found 
guilty, for the reason that the Orange oath enjoins secrecy."*^ 
Some readers may find a significance in the declaration made, 
according to the Victorian Standard, by a prominent speaker at 
the Melbourne Orange anniversary of 1893 • " We [Orangemen] 
have taken a solemn oath to do our best to follow the example and 

2 ©The verbatim report of the evidence referred to above will be found 
in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, pp. 261, 263. 

soHarris's Principles of the Criminal Law, 6th ed., pp. 53, 54. 

siThe Victorian Standard of April 30, 1897, has the following in the 
course of a brief report of the triennial meeting of the Grand Council ol 
Australasia: "The Signs and Passwords Committee, consisting of Bro. 
Edwards, G.M., S.A.; Bartlett. D.G.M., Vic; and Mathews, D.G.M.. 
Tas., reported as to the seledion of passwords for the next three years, 
and the same was adopted." In the course of a speech made at the Grand 
Lodge luncheon in Melbourne, in November, 1896, Grand Secretary J. A. 
Baker " regretted . . that while Vidloria, Queensland, Tasmania, and 
South Australia had one common password, New South Wales should 
have a different one. He thought all the Australian lodges should admit 
on one common password." Victorian Standard report, November 30, 1896. 

32Quoted in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, p. 297. 



teaching of Christ." ^^ It is needless to say that there is not a 
hint about the Irish pracflice of taking foyiiml oaths at initiation 
in any of the rule-books or rituals since 1835, nor in those now 
current among the lodges of Austraha. But it by no means 
follows that oaths are, therefore, not in use among the colonial 
lodges. As in 1813 and 1834, the brethren know how to avoid, as 
well as how to bend before, a storm. When some feature of the 
Orange rule-book becomes illegal, or if, when known (as in the 
case of the VicTtorian elecflion rules of 1885),'^* it is likely to 
create a feeling against the society, it is quietly excised from 
the printed Laws and Constitution, and is retained, unrepealed 
and under added safeguards, in one or other of the following 
forms : 

(a) In the printed or written rituals of the order ; 

(b) In the written instrucSf ions of the Grand Lodge ; 

(c) In the by-laws, in the framing of which private lodges 
are allowed the widest scope, subjecfl to the approval of the 
Grand Lodge (Rule 68). 

In the two last-mentioned forms there is pracfticaily no risk, 
in the ritual (as I can testify from personal experience) very 
little risk, of the public getting into the secret. The rituals 
are (a) " printed exclusively under the direcftions of the Grand 
Lodge" (Rule 18) ; {b) only one ritual is issued by the Grand 
Lodge to each private lodge ; (c) all rituals " are the property 
of the Grand Lodge," which has at any time the power to 
withdraw them (Rule 26) ; (d) the secretary of each lodge has 
to take an oath, or to " solemnly and sincerely declare," that he 
will neither give a copy of it nor lend it out of the lodge he 
belongs to. A glance at the current Vicftorian ritual in 
Appendix B reveals certain facfls in connecflion with the work- 
ing of Orangeism, which justify the precautions taken to keep 
this document in the hands of a few selecfl and *' safe" men. 


On his initiation into the society, the candidate for the 
Orange degree, after sundry exhortations, readings from Scrip- 
ture, and other religious or mock-religious ceremonies,''^ holds a 
Bible in his hand, kneels doimi before the Worshipful Master and 
the assembled brethren, and solemnly makes a lengthy declara- 
tion, of which the following forms a part: " I do solemnly and 
sincerely declare . . . that I will not in any manner com- 
municate or reveal, by word, acft, or deed, any of the proceed- 
ings of my brother Orangemen in lodge assembled, nor any 

^^Victorian Standard's own report, July, 1893. 
3*See chapter vii., infra. 
"^Sce Appendix B. 



matter or thing therein communicated to me, unless to a 
brother Orangeman, well knowing him to be such, or until 1 
shall have been authorised so to do by the Grand Lodge.'' The 
reader will note the sweeping characfter of this part of the 
" solemn declaration" (or oath) which the Grand Lodge requires 
every Orangeman to take, (i) He is solemnly bound not to 
reveal to outsiders in any manner, any proceeding that he wit- 
nesses, nor " any matter or thing" communicated to him. (2) 
This solemn promise (or oath) extends, by force of its wording, 
to courts of justice, and Parliamentary or other forms of official 
inquiry, no exception being made in their favour. The natural, 
and presumably intended, eflfedl of this part of the " obligation" 
is as follows: Unless the Grand Lodge accords an Oiange 
witness, under seal, written permission to give evidence on 
lodge proceedings, he must, by force of his solemn promise or 
oath, either (a) refuse to give evidence, and thus commit con- 
tempt of court; or {b) give false evidence, and thereby be 
guilty of perjury. As we proceed we shall see that both the 
leaders and the rank-and-file of the Orange society have 
uniformly adopted either the one or the other of these two 
means of defeating the ends of official inquiry. 

Regarding the printed declaration of secrecy, I may 
remark : 

{a) Fear of legal penalties would be sufficient to deter the 
leaders of the Orange association from inserting formal oaths 
in their printed ritual, even where, as in Ireland, such oaths 
have been admittedly administered and taken. 

(b) Apart from legal requirements, which are not in question 
here, the form of words used in being sworn is of little moment, 
so long as one intends to take an oath, and is understood to do 
so by those who are present. 

Touching the Bible was an old form of taking an oath. In 
the course of a recent letter to The Times, Sir Sherston Baker, 
Recorder of Barnstaple, said : " In ancient times a large folio 
Bible, containing the Gospels, was placed upon a stand in the 
view of. the prisoner. The jurymen, who occupied a space set 
apart in the court, came forward one by one, and placed their 
hands upon the Book, and then the prisoner had a full view of 
the ' peer ' who was to try him. This was called the ' corporal 
oath,' because the hand [corpus, body] of the person sworn 
touched the Book. Probably, out of reverence, the Book may 
have been kissed sometimes, as a Catholic priest now kisses 
the Book in the Mass ; but I strongly doubt the kiss on the 
Book to be, or ever to have been, essential to the [legal] 
validity of the corporal oath." As a matter of facft, the Oaths' 
Ac5t of 1888 allows witnesses to be sworn in English courts in 



the Scotch fashion, with uplifted hand. A similar provision is 
made in the law-courts of Ireland and most, if not all, of the 
Australian colonies. The candidate for the Orange degree not 
merely touches the Bible, but holds it in his hand, when, on 
bended knees, he makes his "solemn declaration" at initiation. 

(c) Referring to this subjecft of the declaration of secrecy re- 
quired of candidates for the Orange degree, the English Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835 say in their Report to the House of 
Commons : " TheefFecft of the religious ceremonies and forms has 
been to enforce, with the apparent sanation of an oath, secrecy on 
the members admitted ; as the Deputy Grand Master of 
England and Wales, and all the Orangemen examined by the 
Committee (with one exception), refused to communicate the 
secret signs and passwords ; and it appears that a disclosure of 
the system by a member would subjecA: him to expulsion." 

We now understand one reason why an Orange witness at 
the Melbourne Post Office Inquiry of 1896 refused to give 
evidence."" He did not dare to do so without the special 
authorisation of the Grand Lodge. " I am not going to tell 
you," said the witness referred to, " what was done at a lodge 
I belong to, or anything of that sort." Said he again : " affairs 
are spoken of at lodge meetings, which neither I nor any other brother 
would tell you.'' Lodge law thus calmly sets aside the civil 
law, which Orangemen solemnly declare themselves "resolved 
to support and defend to the utmost of their power." 

The secretary's printed "obligation" at the present day is 
almost word for word the same as the oath taken by that 
funiftionary by the rules of 1800. It runs as follows, as 
will be seen by refer^^nce to Appendix B : "I, A.B., 
do solemnly and sincerely declare that I will, to the utmost of 
my power, keep safe the papers belonging to the lodge, and that 
I will not give any copy of the articles, or lend them to make 
an Orangeman out of the lodge I belong to, or lend the seal, 
so that it may be affixed to any forged papers, or irregular 
Orangeman's certificate." By Rule 26 all seals are " the pro- 
perty of the Grand Lodge," by whom they are issued to the 
private lodges, and by whom they may be recalled at anytime. 
" All communications from any lodge shall have the seal 
affixed" (Rule 63.) 

The Master and Deputy Master are required to " solemnly 
and sincerely declare" (in the words of the oath of 1800), that 
they have not " a sitting" in their houses for which they "hold a 
license to sell beer, spirits, or any other intoxicating liquor." 
Licensed vicftuallers have never been considered sufficiently 
" safe," by the reason of the nature of their business, to be 

3^ See Preface. 



entrusted with the hij^'her secrets of even the private lodges. 
By the sancftion of the Grand Lodge, the brethren may meet 
in public-houses, but only under the most stringent safeguards 
as to the secrecy of their proceedings."' The Grand Lodge, at 
least in Vi(5toria, thus provides expressly in its rules for the 
constant violation of an A(5l of Parliament which forbids the 
holding of the meetings of such societies on the premises of 
licensed vi(51uallers."* Pressmen were excluded from the Irish 
organisation during the fury of the anti-Disestablishment agita- 
tion in laGS."*^ When King Midas's servant had learned that 
his royal master had the ears of a donkey, the luckless wight 
knew no peace till he had unbosomed his dangerous secret to 
a hole in the earth. But, say the poets, out of the spot there 
sprung a thicket of reeds which whispered the tale to all the winds 
of heaven. It is doubtful if the mobile tongue of gentle and 
confiding woman could long retain the secret of the hidden 
deformity of the Orange society. Efforts were made from time 
to time to introduce female Orange lodges in Vi(5toria. The 
Vidorian Standard'^'' briefly informs us that the proposal "met 
with its usual fate" — a short shrift and a long drop — at the 
hands of the Grand officials, who best know the reasons why 
the secrets, and especially the higher secrets, of the institution, 
should be in the possession of those only whose tongues would 

3''See Rule 17, Appendix C. 

3«Sedlion 145 of the Licensing Aft of 1890 (Vidoria) is evidently 
intended, both by inclusion and by exclusion, to apply specially to the 
Orange society. The sedtion runs as follows: "No licensed vidtualler shall 
permit any body union society assembly of persons declared to be illegal, 
or any body union society or assembly who require from persons on or before 
admission thereto any illegal oath test declaration or affirmation, or who 
observe on the admission of members or at any other proceeding any 
religious or pretended religious ceremony not sandlioned by law, or who 
wear carry about or display on assembly any arms flags colours symbols 
declarations or emblems whatsoever, to meet or assemble on any occasion 
or pretence whatsoever in the house premises or other place of sale of the 
vidualler so licensed ; nor shall the licensed vidtualler display or suffer to be 
displayed on from or out of any part of such premises any sign flag or symbol 
declaration or emblem whatsoever of any such body or society as afore- 
said. And if any such licensed vidtualler offend against any of the pro- 
visions in this sedion contained, he shall forfeit and pay for every such 
offence any sum not less than Two pounds nor more than Five pounds. 
Provided that nothing herein shall apply to the societies or bodies of men 
called Freemasons Foresters Free Gardeners Ancient Druids Odd Fellows 
or to any benefit or friendly society." The holding of such meetings on 
licensed viduallers' premises was also forbidden by sec. 109 of the 
Licensing Ad of 1885. It is also illegal unider the Unlawful Assemblies 
and Processions Ad of 1890, sec. 10. 

89" M. P.," History 0/ Orangeism, p. 109. 

♦''May 31, 1897, p. 10. 



not move even at the command of a Parliamentary Committee 
of Inquiry. 

The Tyler is the guardian spirit who keeps watch and ward 
outside the lodge door. On his inducSlion into office he has to 
take the following "obhgation": "I, A.B., do solemnly 
declare that I will be faithful to the duties of my office, and I 
will not admit any person into the lodge without having first 
proved him to be in possession of the financial password, or without 
sandlion of the W.M. of this lodge." The "duties of Tylers" 
are thus laid down in the ritual now used in Vicftoria : " The 
duty devolves on the D.M. of seeing that the lodge is properly 
tyled, who when diredled to do so by the W.M. shall address 
the Tyler thus : * Worthy Tyler, what is your duty to this 
lodge ? ' To which the Tyler shall reply thus : ' To prevent 
the intrusion of improper persons into the lodge, to take the 
names and passwords from brothers previous to admitting them, and 
to obey the commands of the W.M. in the admission of brethren 
and candidates for memberslnp of the lodge.' "^ 


Incidents not infrequently come to light which serve to 
show that, in other respecfls also, the printed rules and the 
jealously guarded rituals of the Orange society by no means 
represent what takes place in the secret conventicles of the 
brethren. A ludicrous instance in point was furnished by a 
Vicflorian Orange clergyman, Rev. C. H. Hammer. Speaking 
at the anniversary of the "True Blue" lodge, No. 96, Port- 
land, on the 14th of July, 1893, he is reported to have said 
that " he joined the institution in Tasmania, and when he was 
initiated they gave him a ride ott a billy-goat, which he enjoyed 
very much. (Laughter). Since then he had made rapid 
strides, and now stood before them as Past Deputy Grand 
Master of the Loyal Orange Lodge of Vi(ftoria."^^ 

A writer in the Contemporary Review for August, 1896 
(p. 226), tells how a candidate for Orangeism was shot dead at 
his initiation — a bullet from a revolver which was used in the 
ceremony having penetrated his brain. The British Hansard 
of 1895*^ gives an account of two other curious initiation 
ceremonies which are nowhere provided for in the Orange 
ritual, and which had a tragic ending for two aspirants for the 
Purple degree. A question asked by Mr. McCartan,M.P.,in the 
House of Commons, elicited from Lord Advocate J. B. Balfour 
the following information: On the 27th of April, 1895, one Joseph 

*iSee Ritual, Appendix B. 

*'^Portla)td Observer, July 17, 1893. 

^'^Parl. Debates, vol. xxxiii., 4th Session of 1S95, p. 1051. 



Rankine, of Airblies, was being initiated into the Purple degree, 
at the Motherwell Orange lodge. He was blindfolded, and tossed 
so violently in a blanket, or a net hammock, that his spine was 
broken or dislocated at the neck." The Lord Advocate 
added : " The witnesses refused to describe the ceremonies pradised on 
the occasion, on the ground that it is against the rules of the society to 
do so." In reply to a further query, Lord Advocate Balfour 
told how, on the 7th of July, 1893, one David Blair, while 
being initiated into the Purple degree at an Orange hall in 
Belfast, was likewise blindfolded, and while in the adl of 
mounting a table (or ladder) in this condition, fell backwards 
and was killed. A unique case, arising out of an Orange 
initiation ceremony, came up in 1896 before Judge Luce, at 
the Distridt Court, Waltham, Massachusetts. The particulars 
are given in the New York Freeman's Journal, of September 5, 
1896. Evidence was given on oath that Frank A. Preble, 
when being initiated into membership of an Orange lodge, was 
compelled to discard nearly all his clothing. He was then 
(like Rankine and Blair) blindfolded, obliged to repeat the 
Lord's Prayer on his knees, and to clamber over a lot of rough 
blocks. He was struck with whips, posed on a ladder, thrown 
off it, and tossed in a blanket (like Joseph Rankine at the 
Motherwell lodge). After this, he had to carry a large bag of 
stones around the lodge-room. The initiation ceremonies con- 
cluded by his being burned on the breast with a branding iron, 
the wounds from which were raw for some ten days afterwards. 
Preble sought legal satisfatftion for the cruel treatment he had 
received, and Judge Luce fined six officers of the Orange lodge 
thirty-five dollars each. At a ruder period in the history of 
Orangeism (in 1820), the Irish rules were revised because (as 
stated in a resolution already quoted) pradtices had been 
adopted in the institution which were " offensive even to 
common decency." Blindfolding evidently and very appro- 
priately forms a leading feature in the ceremony of initiation 
to the Orange or Purple degree. This, and the other 
ceremonies referred to above, are nowhere provided for in any 
of the printed rituals ever issued by the Orange society. In 
well-regulated families, children indulging in such rough and 
dangerous horse-play would be soundly thrashed and sent 
supperless to bed. 


No new lodge can be opened in any place until the Grand 
Lodge is satisfied as to "the suitabihty of the place of 

**The incident was reported at the time in the Belfast Irish News, the 
Dublin Fnetnan's Journal, etc. 



meeting."^^ This is the first inquiry which the Grand 
Secretary is direcited to make when application is made for the 
formation of a new lodge. There was a time when "the usual 
place of meeting was the public-house."*'^ This custom still 
prevails to a considerable extent in Ulster, and, though 
illegal, it has the sancftion of the Grand Lodge of Vicftoria, but 
only when " a suitable room cannot be obtained elsewhere," 
and when due precautions are taken to keep the proceedings of 
the brethren safe from the eyes and ears of the profane.*^ 

To this day, the "outside tyler" (who must be a Purple- 
man) is an indispensable officer of every Orange lodge. No 
meeting is " open" until he has taken his place outside the 
lodge door, to guard the brethren's secrets against prying 
eyes and eavesdropping ears. In addition to the " outside 
tyler," there is also (Rule 54) the " inner guard," also composed 
of Purple members. The Grand Lodge has its tried and true 
" Grand Tylers," who keep watch and ward during the 
deliberations of the supreme council, the inner circle, of the 
Orange institution. 

From the rise of Orangeism to the present day, elaborate 
precautions have ever been taken to prevent rule-books, rituals, 
minutes of proceedings, and lodge documents generally, from 
falling into the hands of persons outside the society. The 
following are the chief methods which have been adopted to 
effeiSl this purpose : 

1. Oaths, etc. — The Rules of 1800 required the secretary 
and deputy secretary of every lodge to swear, " upon their 
appointment," " that I will, to the utmost of my power, keep 
safe the papers belonging to the lodge, and that I will not 
give any copy of the Secret Articles, or lend them to make an 
Orangeman out of the lodge I belong to," etc.*® We have 
already seen, in the course of this chapter that, at the present 
day, the secretary makes the self-same promise, with religious 
ceremonies which " have the apparent obligation of an oath." 

2. The rituals and records of the private lodges are held 
exclusively in the possession of Purple-men, who, as we have 
seen above, are not permitted to divulge the secrets of their 
degree to the brethren of the lower, or Orange, order. The 
records of the Grand Lodge are kept by the small inner circle 
of Purple-men who guide the destinies of the association. 
Their special secrets — oral and written — are jealously guarded, 

*5See rule 50 in Appendix C. 

^sRev. W. Nassau Molesworth, Hist. 0/ England, vol. i., p. 378. 
*''See Rule 17, Appendix C. 

*8 Appendix to English Pari. Committee's Report; Plowden's Ireland 
from its Union, vol. i., after Introd. 



not alone from members of the Oranae degree, but even from 
the great body of Purple-men who are not entitled to sit within 
the mystic portals of the well-" tyled" Grand Lodge. The 
Grand Lodge is, in turn, the only authority^^ in the society 
which can permit a private lodge, or a lodge-member, to reveal 
or publish any Orange secret or document of whatsoever kind. 
Deputy Grand Secretary Swan revealed the annual password 
of the Irish society to the Parhamentary Selecft Committee of 
1835. He, however, produced a Grand Lodge warrant author- 
ising him to do so, and declared that without it he could not 
have given even this triflijig bit of information.*" In this matter 
no discretion is left with the members of a private lodge, either 
singly or in council assembled, even when the document, etc., 
in question are neither of a private nor compromising charadler. 
The following is a case in point. It is taken from the proceed- 
ings of the Irish Grand Lodge, May 28 and 29, 1856:*^ 

" Resolved — That Lodge 168 be at Whexty to publish an address 
of condolence to Mrs. Maxwell." 

A similar regulation is in force in the lodges of Vicfloria, as 
will appear by the rule quoted hereunder. 

3. Printing of Documents, etc. — All rule-books, rituals, and 
documents relating to the working of the society at large, are 
printed by Orangemen only, and under the diredtion of the 
Grand Lodge. The Irish rules of 1800 bear on their title page 
the imprint : "Dublin: Printed by an Orangeman." ^^ The 
Vi(5torian rules are printed by Brother C. W. Burford (1893). 
Rule 18 contains the following : 

" All documents necessary to the working of the institution, 
including rule-books and rituals, warrants, certificates, and all 
other forms shall he printed exclusively under the diredions of the 
Grand Lodge ; and no private lodge or member shall present to any 
person or body, or publish or print any address or other documents, 

49The Irish (revised) rules of 1849 require of the ordinary Orangeman 
(of the lower degree) the following 'additional qualifications": "That he 
is one who will not in any mamier communicate or reveal any of the proceed- 
ings or counsels of his brother Orangemen in lodge assembled; or any matter or 
thing therein communicated to him, unless to a brother Orangeman, well knowing 
him to be such, or until he shall have been authorised to do so by the proper 
authorities of the Orange institution." [Report of the Belfast Riots Royal 
Commission of 1857, Appendix 14, p. 275). In a footnote the Royal Com- 
missioners say: "The proper authority is the Grand Lodge of Ireland ; its 
permission to be given in writing, under its seal, and signed by the Grand 
Master and Grand Secretary, or Deputy Grand Secretary." 

soMinutes of Evidence, Qq. 1146-1148. 

siAppendix 14 to Report of Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the 
Belfast Riots of 1857, p. 284. This Appendix contains the proceedings of 
the Irish Grand Lodge from 1855 to May, 1857. 

52See copy of Rules in Plowden's Ireland from its Union, vol. i., after 



or be a party to any a (ft which may in any way involve the 
institution, or any members thereof as such, without the sancftion 
of the Grand Lodge. Any member violating this rule shall be liable 
to expulsion." 


4. Another method to which the Orange society has resorted 
for the purpose of conceahng the true chara(5ler of its proceed- 
ings, is the distribution of specially prepared, or — as they would 
be termed on the Stock Exchange — " cooked," books of rules. 
In 1813, in consequence of the excessive violence of the Orange 
societies, large numbers of petitions were sent to the House of 
Commons, both by Protestants and Catholics, praying for their 
suppression. In June of that year Mr. William Wynne, a Pro- 
testant M.P., gave notice that he would direcfl the attention of 
the House to the existence of illegal societies of the kind. The 
debate on the subjedt opened on the 29th June, 1813. In 
the meantime, however, a new book of rules was distributed to 
members in the lobby. It differed from the one then in use 
in many important particulars. For instance, it altogether 
omitted the great feature of the Orangeism of the time — the 
illegal oath of conditional loyalty, which bound the brethren 
to support the king and his heirs only " so long as he 
and they shall support the Protestant ascendency."^'* Later 
on, under stress of the law (1821, 1828), these oaths were 
omitted from the printed rules, and a declaration against 
Transubstantiation substituted for it. This was likewise 
illegal. In 1834 — at a time when the Orange question 
was occupying a good deal of the attention of the people 
and of Parliament — another pamphlet, professing to contain 
the rules of the Orange society, was again distributed among 
the members of both Houses. When compared with those 
a(5tually in circulation among the Orange body, it was found 
that the illegal declaration against Transubstantiation had 
been omitted. The Dublin Grand Lodge had, by special 
resolution, ordered the circulation of the rule-books containing 
this declaration through all the lodges in Ireland. They 
endeavoured to get rid of the evidence of their acft by erasing 
the order from one of the Grand Lodge books — leaving it, how- 
ever, intacT: in another, which fell into the hands of the 
Parliamentary Seledl: Committee of 1835.^* In like manner, 
the notorious ten Secret Articles of 1799 and 1800 were quietly 
dropped from the revised rules of 1828, but the records of the 
Grand Lodge, as submitted to the Parliamentary Committee 

^^Parliamenfarv Debates, quoted by " M.P.," History 0/ Orangeism, p. 144 
^^Mintttes of Evidence, Qq. 2505, 2525 sqq., and Append, ist Rep. p. 29 



of 1835, contained no indication that they had ever been 
repealed. For all we know to the contrary, they may be in 
force in the lodges at the present day." Reference has already 
been made to the large degree of liberty allowed to lodges, in 
the matter of making by-laws, by rule 68 of the Orange 
institution of Victoria (ed. 1893). The printed gencyal rules 
issued by the Grand Lodge by no means represent, therefore, 
the full facSls of the laws and usages of the private and districft 
lodges. We have seen, in confirmation of this, how illegal 
oaths and tests, secret signs, and certain initiation ceremonies 
which are nowhere provided for in the printed rules and 
rituals, are retained to our day among the members of the 
Orange organisation. 


5. The dismay of the Orange leaders at the prospecTt of 
lodge documents l)eing dragged into the light of day was never 
more clearly manifested than during the great crisis of 1835, 
when the institution — which lay under the stigma of a treason- 
able conspiracy to alter the succession to the throne — was the 
subject of a protratled inquiry by Select Committees appointed 
by the British Parliament. Orange lodges had been held in 
England, under Irish warrants, before 1808. The English 
Selecft Committee complain that the proceedings of these lodges 
were not placed before them,^" The Select Committees also 
failed to get possession of the early rules of the Orange associa- 
tion, which were admitted to be in the possession of Colonel 
Verner, one of the Irish leaders of the society." Three leaves 
— rightly or wrongly supposed to refer to the Cumberland 
conspiracy — were missing from the minute-book of the Grand 
Lodge for February, 1834.'^'' They have never since been 

"^'Ivcference is made to "the articles" in the ritual now current in the 
lodges. The sixth of the "Secret Articles" ran as follows: "We are to 
appear in ten hour's warning, or whatever time is required (provided it be 
not hurtful to ourselves or families, and that we are served with a lawful 
summons from the Master), otherwise we are fined as the company think 
proper." The English Seled Committee, in their Report, dwelt in strong 
terms on this plan of calling out, and concentrating on short notice, large 
bodies of armed men. 

'''^Report, 3rd paragraph. 

"''See Minutes of Evidence, Col. Vernc-r's (also Col. Blacker's) evidence. 
The rules of 1800 were a confirmatitm of the draft rules drawn up by a 
cornmittee on November 20, 1799. Thomas Verner (Grand Master) was 
chairman of the committee. Certain earlier rules were largely followed, 
"except," say the committee, "where we had to encounter gross violations 
of language and grammar." These earlier rules were sought for by the 
Seledl Committee, but on one pretext or other were withheld. Qq. lySsqq 

^"^Minutes of Kvidenie, Pari. Committee of 1835 (evidence of Messrs 
Ward, Swan, Blacker, and Verner). 



accounted for. In the second paragraph of their Report the 
EngHsh Selecft Committee of the House of Commons say: 

" Your Committee have also examined several of the books 
and papers belonging to the institution, but they regret that 
their inquiries have been much narrowed by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Fairman^^ withholding the Book of Correspondence since 
February, 1834, and also the numerous documents of the 
institution remaining in his possession." In examination 
before the English Seledl Parliamentary Committee, Fairman 
admitted that the letters in the Book of Correspondence were 
" principally" connected with the Orange institution.*^" On two 
different days he, however, positively refused to submit the 
book to the inspeiftion of the Committee. His refusal was 
duly reported to the House of Commons. On the igth of 
August, 1835, he was called before the Bar of the House and 
severely reprimanded. He still persisted in his refusal. It 
was thereupon moved " that the witness [Fairman] be called 
in and informed that it was the opinion of the House he is 
bound to produce the book which has been alluded to in his 
evidence." The Orange party in the House opposed the motion. 
The following day (August 20, i'835) the recalcitrant Deputy 
Grand Secretary was again called before the English SeleiH; 
Committee. Then ensued the following scene, which has ever 
been typical of Orange witnesses when questioned regarding 
the secrets of their order : 

" The Committee have assembled, agreeable to the order 
of the House, to receive that book which you have been 
dire(5ted to bring, in order to their prosecuting their inquiries. 
Have you brought the book ?" Fairman replied : " I shall 
endeavour to extort the approbation of the Committee, though 
I may incur their hatred. I have not brought the book." 

" Have you brought the book with you ? I have not. 

" Do you intend to bring it ? I should consider myself 
the veriest wretch on the face of the earth if I did. 

" Do you intend to bring it, agreeable to the order of the 
House, or not ? I cannot. 

" Will you ? I have already said that I will not, and must 
adhere to the resolution I have before expressed. 

s^He was Deputy Grand Secretary of the Imperial Grand Lodge, 
London. For a fuller account of him, see chap, xv., infra. 

^'^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 1073. Fairman admitted also, that the book 
in question might show many documents in connedtion with army lodges ; 
"it might also (he said) contain letters to Lord Kenyon [Deputy Grand 
Master] upon Orange business interspersed here and there with references which 
he would not make knoivn to the Committee^ Many have supposed that these 
jealously guarded "references" regarded the Cumberland Plot. See chap. 
XV., infra. 



" Will you or not ? I have stated that I adhere to my 
former resolution. 

" Will you produce the book — yes or no ? No." 
On the same day (August 20th, 1835) the English Com- 
mittee again reported to the House of Commons Deputy Grand 
Secretary Fairman's refusal to produce the letter-book. The 
House ordered him to be committed to Newgate; but, before 
the sentence could be carried out, the gallant colonel had 
ahsconded.^^ The contents of the lettfer-book have ever since 
remained a mystery to all but the inner circle of conspirators 
who guided the destinies of Orangeism in the fateful year of 


What is the secret which must at all hazards be safe- 
guarded from Catholics, and from all Protestants who may be 
reasonably suspe6ted of being well disposed to Catholics ? which 
must be kept from the great bulk of Protestants ? which may 
not be told to mere Orangemen ? which can only be revealed 
to a seledt coterie of the ruling caste, the Purple-men ? which 
must be protecfted by illegal oaths, tests, signs, and mock- 
religious rites? which defies the authority of courts of law, and 
snaps its fingers in the face of Parliament ? There must be a 
proportion between the secret and the means taken to guard it. 
On philosophical grounds we cannot fall back on the supposi- 
tion that large bodies of grown men, in various stations of life, 
and in different countries, have for a hundred years, from sheer 
boyish caprice, conspired to a(5t as Orangemen have done. 
The Orange, secret must then, be of grave moment. It is 
manifestly something which it is neither safe nor politic to 
openly avow. All the surrounding circumstances point to 
it as being of criminal nature, since men who boast of their 
undying loyalty prefer to break the law, to commit perjury, 
to defy courts of justice, and to fliout the authority of 
Parliament, rather than reveal it. 

It is an undoubted loss to the historian of the lodges, and, 
generally, to English-speaking people living under the British 
flag, that so many and such valuable Orange documents were 
not dragged into the light of day in 1835. They would 
undoubtedly have laid bare many of the secret aims and 
workings of that strange association, which are known only to 
the little inner ring of Purple-men who sit around the Grand 
Lodge table. There is, however, a vast body of fadts which, 
taken in the mass, all too clearly indicate certain broad aims, 
tendencies, methods, and effedts of the Orange association. 

"iRev. W. Nassau Molesworth, Hist, of England, vol. i., p. 380. 



The circumstances attending its rise, its methods of organisa- 
tion, the documents which it has not succeeded in conceaUng 
from the pubHc eye, its uniform policy down the whole course 
of its history — all proclaim that (whatever local or temporary 
purposes it may also have served), the Orange society has ever 
given these two objecfls the chiefest place in its thoughts: 

1. The political ascendency of the Orange party; 

2. The political and social degradation of Catholics — in 
other words, the revival and perpetuation of civil disabilities 
for members of the hated creed. 

1. The first mentioned purpose is sought to be attained by 
the well-known Orange principle of physical force, and by the 
formation of a compacft and highly plastic political body, 
pledged to secure place and power for the members of their 
own party, or their sympathisers, exclusively. With this I 
shall deal in the next chapter. 

2. The attainment of the other chief purpose referred to 
above is sought for mainly in the following ways : 

(a) Excluding Catholics (as far as lies in their power) from 
public life; from Parliament, from Municipal and other public 
bodies, from the Civil Service,'^^ and (as in Belfast and Derry) 
from offices of honour and emolument in the gift of the munici- 
pality. To this we may add the Orange principle of exclusive 
dealing in private and commercial life. 

{h) Inflaming the minds of the public against the Catholic 
body. This is the evident purpose of the coarse, violent, and 
often inflammatory attacks made in the Orange press and on 
the Orange platform against the whole Catholic body — clergy, 
laity, religious orders; of the systematic dissemination of shock- 
ing, not to say indecent, distortions of Catholic docflrines and 
practices; of the marked encouragement given (especially in later 
years) to a class of adventurers who were thereby enabled to 
reap a golden harvest out of sensational or prurient tales of 
Rome's supposed "abominations." In a later chapter I shall 
return to the utterances of the Orange press and platform. 

^i^See chap, viii., infra, and Appendix A. 



Chapter VIL 


In the light of what has appeared in the last chapter, the 
reader will not expecft to find in the printed rule-books, rituals, 
and circulars of the Orange organisation, a full and fair state- 
ment of the aims, methods, and proceedings of the seledl and 
narrow inner circle which controls the policy of the institution. 
Nevertheless, there is much in the two copies of The Laws and 
Constitution of the Loyal Orange Institution of Vidoria,^ now before 
me, which will give an insight into the organisation of this 
strange survival of the spirit of a day that is happily long gone 
by. The rules here referred to possess more than a merely 
local importance : they are in almost every respecft similar to 
those in use in Orange lodges everywhere, large portions of 
them being almost verbatim transcripts of the Laws and Ordin- 
ances of the Orange Institution of Ireland, printed at Belfast in 
1872, These, in turn, contain no substantial alterations on the 
Irish rules of 1869, 1849, 1845, 1828, 1824, 1814, and 1800. 
The general principles of organisation set forth in the Rtdes and 
Constitution of the Vidtorian lodges are, therefore, simply those 
which have long prevailed in every country in which the Orange 
society has gained a footing. The portions of the Constitution 
with which I am at present concerned may be summed up as 
follow : 

I. " The Loyal Orange Institution of VicStoria" consists of 
" private" lodges, the most recently opened of which was num- 
bered, at the date of this writing, 169.^ These are under the 

iSee chap, v., note 3, supra. 

2 For the purposes of Orange organisation the colony of Vidtoria is 
divided into the following seven distrids, each of which is presided over 
by a Deputy Grand Master: (a) Melbourne and Metropolitan Distrift: 
{b) Ballarat and Western Distrift ; (c) Castlemaine, Sandhurst, and 



supreme control of the Grand Lodge,* which holds at least two 
meetings every year in Melbourne.^ 

2. The members of the society are divided into various 
" orders " or '* degrees " — Orange, Royal Arch Purple, and 
the various rings of the Black Preceptory lodges.* The 
Orange and Purple members, with whom I am at present 
concerned, meet in the private lodges. 

3. The members of the Orange, or lower, degree are 
elecfted by ballot in the private lodges. One black ball in seven 
excludes." This rule has been in constant operation in the 
Orange society since, at least, the year 1800. The candidate 
must, moreover, be " proposed and seconded in open lodge at 
least one month previous to such ballot." 


4. The Purple members form the ruling caste of the private 
lodges. They are appointed after a probation of not less than six 
months, and then only by the consent of their lodge, and on a 
written application made to the Grand Lodge by the secretary of 
the private lodge. The Purple degree can be conferred only by 
a person authorised to do so by special certificate of the Grand 
Lodge suchcert\fica.terema.imng"in(ovceforthecurrentyearonly."'' 

The following are among the privileges of Purple members: 

(a) No new lodge can be founded without a written appli- 
cation to the Grand Lodge, signed by at least three Purplemen.^ 

(b) No lodge meeting can be held unless at least three 
Purplemen are present. These, with two brothers of the lower 
degree (Orange), form a quorum.^ 

(c) No candidate can be admitted to the Orange degree 
except by a Purple member, especially authorised by the 
Grand Lodge to confer that degree.'" 

(d) Only those Purple members who are qualified by the Grand 
Lodge to confer the Orange degree are eligible to be ofiiccrs of the 
private lodges}^ It will be thus seen that the Grand Lodge 
largely, or altogether, controls the officership, and thereby the 
policy, of the private lodges. 

Northern Distrid ; (i) North-Eastern Distridt ; [e] Geelong and South 
Western Distridl ; (/) Gippsland Distridl ; {g) Wimmera Distridl (Rule 33 ; 
cf. Rule 32). 

sRule 32. See Appendix C. 

4Rule 36. 

"Rule 67. This whole chapter should be read in connexion with 
what appears on pp. 399-401. 

sRule I. 

fRules 3, 16, 67. 

*Rule 50. 

loRule 54 



(e) The Purple officers of private lodges may (subjecft to 
the approval of the Grand Lodge) make such by-laws as they 
think fit, provided that such by-laws shall not be " inconsistent 
with the laws of the institution."^^ 

(/) ^^ have already seen from other sources that the 
Purple members hold the high secrets of the private lodges, 
which they are not permitted to divulge even to a brother of 
the Orange degree. During the deliberations, a reliable 
Purple " Tyler " stands outside to guard the door from prying 
eyes. There is also an " inner guard " of Purple officers.'" 

(g) Purple members alone are entitled to send delegates 
(one delegate for every 25 members) to the two meetings of 
the Grand Lodge, which take place every year in May and 
November." Members of the Orange (or lower) degree are 
not represented at these meetings. 

(A) The Grand Lodge (which rules the lodges of the colony 
and direcfls their policy) is ele6t:ed from among the Purple and 
other delegates, etc., at the November meeting in each year.^* 
Members of the Orange degree have no voice in the elecftion of 
the Grand Lodge officers (the supreme council of the institu- 
tion), and are rigidly excluded from the Grand Lodge meetings. 
Even Purple members who do not belong to the Grand Lodge 
are excluded, unless by express permission.'^ " Grand 
Tylers " keep watch and ward outside the Grand Lodge doors 
during the deliberations of the inner circle of the Orange 

The Grand Lodge exercises pracftically complete control 
over both the membership and the policy of the Orange 
institution. It controls the membership in the following ways : 
(a) By warrant ; (b) by appointment ; (c) by veto ; (d) by re- 
ballot ; (e) by suspension, expulsion, etc. 

(a) Warrant. — Rule 27 says : " No lodge shall be held 
without the authority of a warrant under the seal of the Grand 
Lodge of Vicftoria. Such warrants are the property of the 
Grand Lodge, and may at any time be suspended, cancelled, 
or withdrawn by the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge." 

(b) Appointvient. — We have seen (i) that the Grand Lodge 
holds exclusively in its hands the appointment of the members 
of the ruling caste of the private lodges. (2) It empowers a 
certain number of these to confer the Orange degree." (3) 

"Rule 54. 
i*Rules 32, 36. 



Those so empowered are the only persons in the whole institu- 
tion who are eligible to be officers of private lodges. Moreover 
(4), by rule 54, the Purple-men who are elected to be lodge 
officers are not allowed to adi as such, or to he installed, until their 
appointment has been ^'' co7ifirmed by the Grand Lodged This will 
enable the reader to judge of the unlimited and absolute 
control which the Grand Lodge exercises, by virtue of its 
power of appointment, over the personnel and the policy of the 
private lodges. 

{c) Veto. — By rule 58, every lodge secretary is required to 
furnish the Grand Lodge annually with a list of "all persons 
who have resigned, been rejecfted, or expelled, with the reasons 
for such rejection, suspension, or expulsion."^® This " black 
list" furnished by all the lodges is printed every year by the 
Grand Lodge, soon after the November meeting, and a copy 
sent to the secretary of every lodge in the colony. ^^ The same 
pra(5tice is followed in every colony and country in which the 
Orange organisation is established. The objedt of this rule is 
to exclude from the society all but men of the "right sort." 
The following further regulations on the subjecSt, from the 
Vi(5torian printed ritual,^" make this sufficiently clear : 

(i). Every Orangeman, at his initiation, is, after various 
ceremonies, required to kneel, and, holding the Bible in his 
hands, to make (among others) the following solemn declara- 
tion : "I do solemnly and sincerely declare . . . that I 
have not, to my knowledge or belief, been proposed in and 
reje(5led by, nor suspended or expelled from, any other Orange 
lodge." (In the last chapter evidence has been adduced which 
goes to show that, at their initiation, candidates for the Orange 
society in Ulster, are, at least sometimes, formally sworn, as a 
matter " of course," on the New Testament). 

(2). Resigned members are (by rule 9) not permitted to rejoin 
the society unless their application for re-admission is approved 
of by the lodge from which they resigned, and not even then without 
the special writien permission of the Grand Lodge. 

(3). Rejedcd candidates cannot "be re-balloted for in any 
lodge Vix\t\\ after the expiration of twelve months from the date oi 
such rejecftion, and then only by the special permission of the Grand 
Lodge. Any person who has been rejecfted by one lodge, and 
has obtained admission into another without informing the 
members of the fadl, shall, on proof thereof, be expelled the 

isCompare Rule 4. 

isRule 46. 

20See Appendix B. 

2iThis rule provides for the case in which rejedled candidates might 

129 1 


We have already seen that the Grand Lodge has the power 
of veto in connecftion with admission to the Purple degree, and 
with the appointment of officers of private lodges. 

(d) Re-Balloting. — Rule 8 is of a sweeping charadler. It 
runs as follows : " In order to guard the institution against 
the possibility of improper persons continuing members thereof, it 
shall be competent for the Grand Lodge, upon the application 
of a private lodge, to order a re-ballot for any member or members 
thereof; and, should it be deemed expedient that all or any 
members of the Institution should undergo a new ballot, a re-ballot 
shall be taken in such a manner as the Grand Lodge shall 
prescribe. Any member being rejected can only be re-admitted into 
the Institution with the sandiion of the Grand Lodge, after notice 
to the lodge by which such member was rejec5led." In the 
Irish rules of 1849 the re-ballot was started with five members, 
who were themselves selected by ballot beforehand. ^^ 


(e) Suspension — Rule 26 is about the most drastic of the 
printed Orange code.' It enables the Grand Lodge, or even 
the Grand Master, to suspend, nay, to suppress any lodge, or as 
many lodges as they may " see fit." By rule 27 (already 
referred to) no lodge can be held without the authority of a 
warrant from the Grand Lodge. Rule 26 runs thus : "All 
warrants, seals, and rituals issued to lodges are the property oj 
the Grand Lodge, ivhich has the power of cancelling, suspending, or 
withdrawing any warrant ks it may see fit, and of again issuing 
the same to any othev lodge ; but on all such re-issues of 
warrants the charge shall be los. 6d.; and the Grand Master 
shall have full power to suspend, take, or authorise possession to be 
taken of, any warrant, subjecft to appeal to the Grand Lodge ; 
and erery warrant, while so cancelled, suspended, or withdrawn, shall 
be wholly void and inoperative ; and every member who shall 
knowingly acfl upon, or sit under, any such warrant during such 
period, shall be suspended for a term not exceeding two years." 
The suspension or expulsion of a member takes effeCt at once. 

Rule 5, although printed before, is a sequel to rule 8. It 
has the effect of expelling or suspending from the society every member 
of a lodge the warrant of which has been cancelled or withdrawn. 
The rule runs as follows : 

" Any member of the institution, the warrant of whose 
lodge has been surrendered or cancelled, may, with the consent of 

seek admission to other lodges previous to the publication of the annual 
"black list." 

2 2 The revised rules of 1849 are given in Appendix 14 to Report of Bel- 
fast Riots Commission of 1857, q.v. pp. 271-272. 



the Grand Lodge, be received as a rejoining member by any other 
lodge, on payment of two shillings and sixpence, a ballot to be 
taken for his admission." 

To realise the full extent of the authority vested in the 
separate Grand Lodges of each country or colony, the reader 
must bear in mind that their control over the membership and 
policy of the lodges under their several jurisdidtions, is supreme, 
arbitrary, and irresponsible. Despite the existence of an 
" Imperial Grand Council," there has been, I think, no appeal 
from their decisions ever since the fateful day when the Imperial 
Grand Lodge of London — which had exercised control over the 
national and colonial Grand Lodges — was dissolved in 1836, in 
consequence of the damaging revelations which had been 
brought to light during the previous year by the Parliamentary 
Seled^ Committees of Inquiry into the Orange system. The 
Grand Lodge is thus practically the final court of appeal on all 
subjects. It decides what is, and what is not, " consistent 
with the principles of the institution." It rewards and 
punishes, it makes and suppresses lodges " as it sees fit." It 
opens, and no man shuts ; shuts, and no man opens. 

In all this, the organisation of the Orange institution is in 
complete accord with that of other secret societies whose consti- 
tutions have been brought into the light of day. The whole 
objec5l and effedt of the Orange " laws and constitution" is to 
place the members, as far as possible, under the complete 
control of the Grand Lodge — to bind them to support the 
political programmes or other schemes of their leaders, under 
such penalties as fines, suspension, or expulsion. Anyone 
acquainted with the history and proceedings of secret societies 
need not be reminded that these punishments— and especially 
the last-mentioned — are but relatively light. What with the 
well-known Orange principle of exclusive dealing, and the 
system of harrying " Papist" Protestants, circumstances 
might frequently arise in which expulsion from the society 
might lead to a form of social ostracism, or to financial loss or 


A tracft^^ which has a wide circulation among the lodges 
gives the following as a " further definition" of Orangeism : 
"It is a religious and political society." It justifies its being 
" a secret society" in this way (p. 3) : " We need an organisa- 
tion to ensure united action and a vote on all important occasions.^' 
In their Report to the House of Commons, the English Parlia- 
mentary Seledt Committee of 1835 say : " The Orange lodges 

"^'^ Definition of Orangeism, Bro. C. W. Burford, Printer, Melbourne. 



have also interfered in various political subjeiftsof the day, and 
made Orangeism a means of supporting the vieivs of a political party. '"^^ 
In his letter of July 5, 1834, to the Deputy Grand Secretary, 
Mr. Randel E. Plunket, M.P. (Deputy Grand Master of Ireland) 
states that the Orange body is capable of being rendered 
eminently " available at elecftions."^^ He also refers to the 
value of its physical force," and to " its peculiar and unique 
application to purposes of communication between persons of 
all grades, and to large bodies, whether the intent of such 
application he for insuring an eledion etc."^'^ The English Com- 
mittee's Report continues : " Your Committee could not keep 
out of sight the incidents that took place in Ireland at that 
gentleman's [Mr. Plunket's] elecftion, by the interference of 
large bodies of armed Orangemen, as detailed in the evidence 
on the table of the House." This form of lodge violence 
reached its climax in the old days of open voting — during the 
Emancipation and Reform agitations, in the course of which 
several eledl;ions were influenced by the intimidation and out- 
rages of armed brethren. I need only instance the elecftions of 
Drogheda and Trim, in 1834.^' The Irish Orange body steadily 
and violently opposed the Bills for Catholic Emancipation, 
National Education (Ireland), Reform, the Repeal of the 
Tithes A6i, the Extension of the Franchise, Church Dis- 
establishment^ the Land A6ts, and, generally, all legislation 
in the direcftion of equal justice to the Catholic body, or for the 
advancement of popular liberty. -** 


On the occasion of Municipal or Parliamentary eledtions, 

2*Cf. Deputy Grand Secretary's words to the Duke of Gordon, Grand 
Master for Scotland, August 11, 1833, chap, i., supra, p. 3. 

2 5guoted in Report of EngUsh Seledt Committee. This Mr. Plunket 
was also Grand Master of the county of Meath, and a member of the 
Imperial Grand Lodge of London. Ibid. 

"^^Ibid. See note 27, infra. 

'^''Minutes of Evidence, Seledl Pari. Committee, Qq. 6101, 6088, 6203, 
6212, etc. Several hundred armed Orangemen marched into Trim/;wM the 
neighbouring counties, on the eledlion day. They were led by a clergyman 
Rev. Mr. Preston, who, according to the evidence, "held a pistol in his 
hand." On their return march, they killed a Catholic named Henry, at 
Kells. Mr. Plunket, M.P. (mentioned above), thanked them "for their 
services" on the occasion of the eledion. 

28See Molesworth's Hist, of England, vol. i., pp. 378-379. In its issue 
of June I, 1886 (p. 3) the Victorian Standard (the organ of the lodges of 
Vidloria), quotes a speech of the noted Orangeman, Lord Rossmore, who 
was deprived of the Commission of the Peace for his extreme sedlarian 
spirit. He said: "To Englishmen, then, I would say: Disfranchise Ireland." 
See also Killen's Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 456; Wyse's History of 
the Catholic Association, Barry O'Brien's Thomas Drummond, pp. iii, 112, 



the Grand Lodge will recognise in no Orangemen the right 
to exercise the franchise otherwise than according to its 
di(5lation, " The Orange lodges," say the English Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835, "have also interfered with the 
elecftive franchise by expelling members of their body, as at 
Rochdale, in 1835, for voting for the Liberal candidate." 
Other instances of interference with voters are given in the 
same Report, and in the Minutes of Evidence. The venerable 
Mr. Christie, in his examination before the Selecft Committee 
of 1835, says:^^ " I have seen and known instances in which 
the Orangemen have heen collecfted and stimulated to assemble 
and march in order to the church. I saw them go into one 
church to sign a petition against Catholic Emancipation, and 
the church was kept open, and they marched in procession, 
and I was myself in a gig with an Orangeman, who repri- 
manded them for so doing. He said they were ordered in, but 
not to go in a procession. They were ordered in by the Districft 
Masters, as I understand." Similar cases occurred in other 
parts of Ulster during the same period.*° 

In the Minutes of Evidence of the Parliamentary Committee 
of 1835, instances are given of clergymen and others having 
been punished by the lodges for entertaining liberal sentiments 
towards Catholics. In 1831, two Protestant clergymen were 
expelled from the society for having voted for the Reform 
candidate.**^ The following resolution of the Irish Grand Lodge 
is given at Question 1940 of the Parliamentary Seleefl Com- 
mittee's i?^/)o>'Z'.- " That it is the recommendation of this Grand 
Lodge that the lodges [in the Dublin districft] do remove from 
any official situations which they may occupy, such persons, 
being freemen of the City of Dublin, or freeholders, who voted 
for the Reform candidates at the late elecflion, or who refrained 
from voting against them." 

At its meetings of May 28 and 29, 1856, the same Grand 
Lodge drew up and imposed upon the brethren throughout the 
country a plan of operations for the coming Parliamentary 
eledtions. One of the resolutions ordered that the brethren 
" should in all cases vote for the support of those candidates 
who will oppose the Maynooth Grant and the endowment of 
Popery." ^^ In its meetings of November 27 and 28 of the same 

^^ Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5691. 

30The Belfast News-Letter of January 27, 1829, contains an address to 
the "Orangemen of Derry," giving details of similar meetings of brethren 
to sign anti-Emancipation petitions. Quoted by "M.P." p. 168, note. 

»i-Report of Pari. Seled Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Q. 1939. 

^^Appendix 14 to Report of the Roval Commission on the Belfast Riots 
of 1857, p. 284. 


year, the Irish Grand Lodge sent out petitions to be signed by 
the lodges, praying for the repeal of the Maynooth Grant."* 
In the minutes of their proceedings for May 27 and 28, 1857, 
I find the following : 

" Resolved unanimously — That the Grand Lodge feel called 
upon to express their strongest dissatisfadlion with the condu(5t 
of those Orangemen who, at the recent general elecflion, voted 
and exercised their influence in favour of candidates who 
refused to pledge themselves " to oppose the endowment of 
Maynooth College. They recommend the lodge officers to 
make "stridl inquiry" into the condudt of the offending 
members, "and report to this Grand Lodge at next meeting, 
in order that steps may be taken by this Grand Lodge to 
maintain its authority orer those who may, on such occasions, forget or 
violate their duties as Orangemen."^* 

The minutes of the Irish Grand Lodge, given in the Belfast 
Riots Report of 1857, contain even more extreme instances of 
the bullying and intimidation of Orange voters, in the interests 
of individual members of the ruling inner circle of Purple men. 
The proceedings of the meetings of November, 1857, giue an 
idea of the extent to which the free exercise of the franchise is 
interfered with in the lodges. A large number of members 
were expelled " for voting at an eledtion against a dignitary of 
the institution." The records of the fourth day of this Grand 
Lodge meeting (November 6th, 1857, Deputy Grand Master 
Waller in the chair) contain a list of some fifty members 
belonging to Derry county, who were "expelled for voting 
against their Grand Master, Sir R. H. Bruce, Bart., at the 
late Parliamentary elections." Some fifty others in the same 
county were suspended for seven years " for using their in- 
fluence against their Grand Master at the elecftions." This 
was in the good old days of open voting, when such intimida- 
tion was comparatively easy. The reader will now see 
how the supreme guides of Orange policy have adapted their 

^^Ibid., pp. 290, 291. By the Adl of 1845 (8th and gth Vic, chap. 
XXV.) the Grant to the Catholic College, Maynooth, for the training of 
Irish priests, was, amidst a great outcry from the lodges, raised to ;if 26,000 
a year. This was the only "endowment of Popery" in Ireland of which 
the English Government had been guilty. In 1868, the revenue of the 
Established Church amounted to ^616,840 (Irish Church Directory for 1833 • 
p. 145). In the same year the Regium Donum given to the Presbyterians 
and Unitarians amounted to about ^^40,000 (Killen's Ecchs. Hist, ii., 5870, 
The lodges made no objedions to the endowment of the Protestant 
Churches. On the contrary, they, in 1868 and i86q, openly threatened 
armed rebellion if the Queen would sign the Bill lor disestablishing the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in Ireland. 

s*Appendix 14 to Report of Royal Commission on the Belfast Riots ol 
1857, p. 294. 



ele(5lioneering methods to meet the new set of conditions created 
by the Ballot A6i. 

On the i2th of July, i8gi, the "Grand Master, Loyal 
Orange Institution of England," issued an address'^ to the 
brethren of his jurisdicftion. In the course of this manifesto he 
broadly indicated the " stridt course of adlion" which was to be 
adopted by English Orangemen "individually and colledtively." 
" In party politics," said he, " you are to be guided by the 
instrucftions which from time to time may be given you from 
me, through your provincial ordistricft officers; in no case taking 
any party side until the fiat has gone forth from myself, indi- 
cating the course you are to take," 


Four principal methods are adopted by the members of the 
Grand Lodge to mould the policy of the Orange body into 
subservience to their political views or aspirations. These 
will be sufficiently exemplified by the rules adopted in the 
lodges of Victoria, which are a sufficiently faithful reflex oi 
those in force in every country where the Orange society is 
established. These methods are as follow: 

1. By dire(5ting the business-sheet, etc., of the lodges at 
any time. The following dicftatorial rule is No. 25 of the 1885 
edition: "Every private lodge shall hold a special meeting 
when requested by the Grand Lodge by order under seal, and 
shall consider such business as may be direcfted by such order. "^® 

2. By largely or altogether controlling the vote of the 
private lodges on the matters which they are required to 
discuss. Rule 51 of the Vicftorian lodges (ed. 1893) ^^^^ ^s 
follows : 

"All elecftive officers of the Grand Lodge are ex cj^icio 
members of all private lodges, and are entitled to preside therein^'' and 
vote on all subjeds save and except the distribution of funds, the 
election of officers, and the formation of by-laws." It is thus 
in the power of the Grand Lodge to send to any private lodge 
a sufficient number of its members to outvote the lodge officers 
on any question of party policy that may arise. The members 
of the lodge are bound to accept a majority vote secured even in 
this way."- 

3. Another and ever-ready expedient by which the Grand 
Lodge, or even the Grand Master, can compel submission to 

ssThis address appeared at the time in full, in the Belfast Weekly 
News, from which these extraifts are taken. 

s^See Rule 30, ed. 1893, in Appendix C. 

sTThe Purple man who presides at an Orange meeting has a delibera 
tive vote and a casting vote. 

^^Rules of Order, No. 26, Viftorian ed., 1893. 


the order of the inner circle, is the infli(ft:ion of the punishments 
referred to above: Suspension or expulsion of recalcitrant 
members, and suspension or complete suppression of the 
stubborn lodge. The last-mentioned penalty is equivalent, as 
I have shown above, to the expulsion of all the members of the 
particular lodge affet5\ed by it. 

4. It is, however, in Parliamentary and Municipal elecftions 
that the lodge members— Orange and Purple — are bound 
hand and foot to the political schemes, and the personal likes, 
dislikes, and ambitions of the Grand Master, as they were in 
the days when they were driven, as unresisting as flocks cf 
sheep, to sign petitions against the Emancipation of their 
Catholic fellow-countrymen. The extracfts given above from 
Grand Lodge records sufficiently indicate the ia.6i that the 
free exercise of the franchise by members is visited with the 
extremest penalties which it is in the power of the Orange 
society to inflicft. It is not, however, so generally known that 
candidates are admitted into the society on the express condition 
that they must not, on any account, vote for a Catholic, either 
at Parliamentary or Municipal elecftions, and that their votes 
and influence are to be at all times placed blindly and uncon- 
ditionally at the beck and call of the Grand Master or the 
officers of the Grand Lodge. According to the printed initiation 
ceremony now in use, the "Worshipful Master" thus addresses 
the candidate for the Orange degree: 

"Friend, . . . it is also required of von that, should you 
now, or at any future period, be in the possession of the 
elecftion franchise, you will support by your vote and interest Orange 
and Protestant candidates ot^hy , and in no wise refrain from voting, 
remembering our mottoes : ' Measures, not men,' and ' He 
who is not with us is against us.' Your neglediing to fulfil these 
conditions will render you liable to expulsion. "^^ 

But this is not all. " Abyss calleth to abyss." According 
to the printed ritual now (nominally, at least) in use, promises 
of a still more far-reaching characfter are exacfted from the 
candidate for the Orange (or lower) degree. Kneeling before 
the assembled lodge, and holding the Bible in his hands, he 
makes a solemn declaration, having (says the English Report) 
"the apparent obligation of an oath" (or, not improbably, as we 
have seen in the sixth chapter, he takes a formal oath) to '^ abide 
by ALL rules made for the government of the Orange Institution in 
Vi(floria."^° By this sweeping " obligation" he delivers over 
his will to blindly obey the unknown orders ot the irresponsible 

s^See Ritual in Appendix B. 



ring of secret conclavists who locally guide the destinies ot 
the Orange organisation. 

The writer of these pages has in his possession an 
elaborate summons issued to a certain " brother" (a police- 
man) by the King William Lodge, No. 92 (Melbourne), and 
dated March 17, 1892. The '* brother" in question is required 
to attend, on the 2ist, a " summons meeting." The third item 
on the business-sheet of the meeting is thus stated : '* To 
consider matters in connecftion with the forthcoming General 
Elecftion." During the Australian Federal Convention campaign 
of 1897, ^^ organ of the Orange lodges, the Victorian Standard, 
of February 27, published a list of candidates, which was 
headed by the names of the " Most Worshipful Grand 
Master" of the colony, the Hon. Simon Fraser, Deputy Grand 
Master R. T. Vale, and another member of the fraternity. A 
printed slip, containing the same list of names, was also circulated 
among the lodges. From the same issue of the Victorian 
Standard (p. 12) I learn that an acftive canvass of the Mel- 
bourne and suburban lodges was made, previous to the Federal 
eledl:ions, by the Grand Master, Mr. Vale, and other officers of 
the Grand Lodge. " A course of acftion was decided on," and 
every brother was called upon in an editorial to " register his 
vote on the 4th [of March, 1897] according to the dicftates of 
his conscience and the laws of the Orange institution." There 
is an air of guileless innocence and sweet simplicity about this 
appeal, which conveys to the casual reader no idea of the 
Draconian methods by which elecftioneering matters are 
" considered" and " decided on" within the guarded portals of 
the Orange lodge. The following " Rules for Elecftions" are 
not merely a literary curiosity. They are substantially carried 
out in every place where a lodge is established, and thus afford 
an instru(5tive insight into the searching form of political slavery 
which exists, even in Ballot A(5t days, under the fair profes- 
sions of the Orange organisation. These elecftion rules are 
given word for word as they appear on p. 18 of the Laws and 
Constitution of the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria, which were 
printed by Cross and Co., Daylesford, Vi(51:oria, in 1885. They 
will indicate the means adopted by the Grand Lodge " to 
secure [as a favourite Orange tracft, already quoted, states] 
united acftion and a vote on all important occasions,"" or (to 
use the words of the Grand Master at the opening of the Mel 
bourne Protestant Hall) " to make their influence felt on the 
public affairs of the colony. "^'■^ 

^^Definition of Oranf^ehm. 

*'^Arqu$ Report, November 11, 1882. 



"rules for elections: 
" municipal and parliamentary.'" 

" I. Lodges and individual members are not to pledge them- 
selves to any party or candidate until the Institution has decided. 

" 2. The names of all candidates desiring the vote of the Insti- 
tution, or of any candidate the brethren may think worthy of 
the vote, shall be forwarded to the Grand Master, or, in his 
absence, to the Grand Committee, who shall make inquiries as 
to their fitness, and the probabilities of their success, and shall 
obtain from them pledges as to their condudl on questions affeCting the 
welfare of the Institution, a7id the ohjeCi of its existence. He shall 
then forward the result of his inquiries, with his recommendations, 
to the different lodges in the elecftoral distriifts interested. 

" 3. With his recommendations shall be sent a list of all the 
names of candidates that have been submitted to the Grand Master, in 
the order of preference. If the lodges concur with his recommen- 
dations, energetic steps must be taken at once to give effedt to 
them. Should the lodges, however, not concur, the Master 
shall at once proceed by ballot or show of hands to determine 
which of the candidates on the list shall have the vote." 

"4. Where there is more than one lodge in any town or 
locality, the Grand Master shall cause a joint meeting of the 
lodges to be summoned, when his recommendations shall be con- 
sidered, and, if not concurred with, a vote shall be taken by 
ballot or show of hands, as hereinbefore provided. In each 
case a majority of votes to determine the issue. 

"5. The vote so taken to be binding on all members of the Order. 
Should, however, any individual member have a conscientious 
objedtion to vote for any candidate so accepted by the brethren, 
and who shall have stated his obje6lion in the lodge previous to the 

*sThe italics and capitals, which do not occur in the original, are 
inserted for the purpose of diredting the reader's attention to the more 
flagrant points of these rules. The eledtion rules, being of a compromis- 
ing nature, were quietly omitted from the edition of 1893. They are, how- 
ever, still in force in the lodges. In the previous chapter we have seen 
that it is part of the settled policy of the Grand Lodges to excise, with- 
out repealing, oaths, tests, secret signs, and printed Orange rules that have 
become illegal, or that, when known to the public, would involve an ex- 
posure of its methods, or create a feeling against the institution. The by- 
laws of the private lodges (Rule 68) afford a convenient receptacle for 
rules, customs, etc., which it would not be prudent to commit to the 
relative risk of print. 

**The list referred to here is that submitted by the Grand Master to 
the lodges. (See first two sentences of this rule). The lodges are thus 
absolutely precluded by these Rules from going outside the list of candi- 
dates furnished them by the Grand Master. The same is provided for in 
the next following Rule. 



taking of the z;o^^,** the decision shall not be binding on him, 
nevertheless, the vote shall hind such member not to vote at any election 
against the Order, nor against any candidate supported by it. 

" 6. No objedlion on personal grounds will justify any brother in so 
withholding his vote. Should the grounds of such obje<51:ion be 
questioned, the case shall be referred to the Grand Master, whose 
decision shall be accepted. 

"7. The claims of candidates who are members of the Order shall 
be considered first. 

"8. The decision arrived at, and the acStion determined on, 
to be carried out with the secrecy necessary to ensure success. 

" 9. Copies of all letters written, or recommendations 
made, afFe(51;ing any public man by which the Order is pledged, 
i?nplicated, or interested, shall be kept, and no politician outside the 
Order shall, by letter or recommendation, secure the influence 
of the Order for his own political advancement, until it has been 
sandlioned officially.'" 


Such are the methods by which the voting power of the 
Orange lodges is brought to bear on Municipal and Parlia- 
mentary elecftions. Orange candidates — without reference to 
fitness — must not alone get a preference, but the brethren are 
not permitted to extend their support to any respedtable Pro- 
testant " politician outside the order" without the special 
sandtion of the autocrat of the lodges, the Grand Master. 
Reference to the Orange Ritual in Appendix B will show that 
voting for a Catholic candidate is visited with prompt expul- 
sion from the Orange society. Lodge schemes are thus made 
paramount to the interests of the country at large. The 
whole voting power of the bre;thren is handed over bodily to 

*sThe reader will note, perhaps with some amazement, the force of 
this and the following rule. Briefly, they amount to this: 

(a) " Conscientious objedlions " to the lodge candidate hold good only 
when declared in the meeting before the vote is taken. 

(b) Even when the "conscientious objedlion" has been so stated, the 
scrupulous Orangeman is bound to give the lodge candidate a negative 
support by not voting against him. 

(c) When the "conscientious objedlion" to the lodge candidate arises 
or is stated after the vote of the lodge has been taken, the "conscientious" 
Orangeman is, by force of this rule, bound to vote for the lodge candidate, 
even against his (the voter's) conscience. The voter whose scruples arise too 
late must learn to swallow them. He is not even privileged, like the other, 
to abstain from voting. 

(d) The next following rule (6) practically nullifies the saving clause 
mentioned under {a) and {b) of this note. If the Orange voter's (personal) 
grounds of objedtion against the lodge candidate are "questioned" (as they 
are sure to be by somebody), the matter is "referred to the Grand Master, 
whose decision shall he accepted" 



the irresponsible and arbitrary control of the Grand Master for 
the time being, and made subservient to his personal schemes 
and ambitions. The reader can now form a shrewd guess as 
to why certain politicians fly the Orange flag. 

The well known American raconteur, Mr. Chauncey Depew, 
is, I believe, responsible for the following story, which will 
serve to illustrate my point : 

The teacher of a country school in the United States found 
one morning a woodchuck which had been shot and lost by a 
passing sportsman. He offered the bird as a prize to the boy 
who could give the best reasons for his political opinions. 
After a pause for refledlion the first boy stood up. 
" I am a Republican." 
" Why are you a Republican ?" 

" Because Abraham Lincoln was one, and he freed the 

" Next boy. What are you ?" 
" Sir, I am a Prohibitionist." 

" Because the insane asylums are filled with the vicHiims of 
strong drink. Because it makes widows and orphans and 

"That will do. Next boy stand up. What are your 
politics ?" 

"I am a Democrat." 
" Why are you a Democrat ?" 
" Because I want the woodchuck .'' 

The whole conducfl of L.O.L. politicians, the position 
which they occupy on the Grand Lodge, the manner in which 
that position is habitually, and by virtue of the rules of the 
society, used for their personal benefit at elecftion times, all lay 
them open to the not unreasonable suspicion that they adopt 
the Orange platform for the sake of the woodchuck — in other 
words, for the ever-organised, ever-ready, ever-obedient vote 
of the brethren in the day of need. 

After recounting, in their Report to the House of Commons, 
the many disastrous results of Orangeism, the English Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1835 say: "AH these evils have been 
proved by the evidence before the House in regard to Ireland, 
where the system has long existed on an extended scale, 
rendered more prejudicial to the best interests of society by the 
patronage and protection of so many wealthy members, high in 
office and in rank, taking an adlive part in the proceedings of these 
lodges."^® The same Report says, a few paragraphs before : 

*^Since the collapse of 1835 comparatively few of what are termed the 
upper classes in society have joined the Orange institution. In the 



" In the printed proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 4th 
June, 1833, the Duke of Cumberland [Imperial Grand Master] 
is reported to have stated that ' if the Grand Lodge have not 
confidence in the Grand Master, it is better, perhaps, that I 
should know it ; but if it have confidence, its members must 
be aware that it is my wish to simplify the proceedings of the 
institution as much as possible. Individual opinion [these are 
the Duke's words] is not to be consulted npon vital and important 
arrangements, involving the welfare and best interests of the 
institution.' " Here the Grand Master dicftates, not merely to 
the private lodges, but to the Grand Lodge as well. 


" It must always be kept in mind," continues the same 
Report, "that the power of calling out the members of all the 
Orange lodges in Ireland rests with the Grand Master and 
his Deputy, on the application of twelve members of the com- 
mittee; that the same person is Grand Master of Great Britain 
and of Ireland, having the same powers, which are stated to 
be uncontrollable and arbitrary, of bringing together large 
bodies of armed and unarmed men, to make a demonstration 
of physical force which might prove highly dangerous."^' 

Such a power is apparently as consistent with the Laivs and 
Constitution of the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria, as it was 
with those of the Irish or English Grand Lodge in 1835. The 
English Seledt Parliamentary Committee say farther down in 
their Report, that when they " consider the possible use that 
might be made of such an organised power, its suppression becomes, 
in their [the Committee's] opinion, imperatively necessary.'' A 
similar warning was raised in the House of Commons as far 
back as June 29, 1813, by Mr. Wynne, a Protestant M.P. 
He said that the Orange institution "is capable of being 
diverted to the worst purposes." A similar admission was 
made by Mr. Stewart Blacker, Assistant Grand Secretary of 
the Irish Grand Lodge, in reply to the following question put 
to him by the Parliamentary Selecft Committee of 1835: 
" Would a body of Roman Catholics, united together in a similar 
manner as the Orange body is, be, in your opinion, dangerous to 
the State ? " Stewart Blacker frankly answered : " I think a 
Catholic body, organised as the Orange institution is, would be 
highly injurious and detrimental to a Protestant country, as this, 

Australian colonies the leaders of the society belong principally, if not 
altogether, to a certain class of politicians who are keenly alive to the value 
of the voting powers of the lodges at eledtion times. 

*''See also Rev. W. Nassau Molesworth's Hist. 0/ England, vol. i., p. 
383, and chap, xv., infra. 



by the blessing of God, still is."^^ It is a bad principle that 
does not work both ways. Here we find the Orange system 
of organisation condemned by the mouth of one of its 
acknowledged leaders,*^ 

^^^Mmutes of Evidence, Q. 2138. 

*9Cf. quotation from the Orange historian, Musgrave, in chap, xi., 
infra, near end. 



Chapter VIIL 


The veiled prophet of Khorassan^ Hved a double part. In 
public, before the prostrate crowd, he was the tall, kingly 
form, who spoke as a god, and veiled the majesty of his 
features from the gaze of the vulgar eye. In the secret of his 
chamber, when the friendly veil was cast aside, he was the 
deformed Mokanna, whose soul was as black as his face was 

Secret societies may be termed the Mokannas of our 
day. Before the world they, as a rule, veil their inner guilt 
under a fair disguise of fine professions. These usually take 
the shape of watchwords or mottoes. The motto of the Reds 
of 1789 was : " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (or Brotherhood)." 
It was, unhappily, no mere play of words, but a melancholy 
truth which gave to these words the following interpretation : 
— " Liberie — de mal faive ; Egalite — de misere ; Fraternite — comvie 
Cain avec son frerey It was Liberty to do evil ; Equality in the 
wretchedness which evil produces ; Brotherhood, such as Cain 
•showed towards Abel. The motto of the Anarchist-Socialist 
(according to M. Hamon)^ may be reduced to the triple one : 
" Love of liberty," " love of justice," " love of others." Your 
Anarchist may blow up unoffending people, at Paris and 
Barcelona, with picrine shells and infernal machines; but none 
the less he poses before the world as an ethereal being, with a 
nimbus round his head, and his heart overflowing with emotions 
of the most expansive philanthropy. 

The Orange society differs materially from Anarchism 
and Red Republicanism in both its aims and methods. It 
resembles them in the disguise of fair professions which it 

■^Moore's Poems; The Veiled Prophet 0/ Kkorassan. 
^Psychologie de I'Anarckiste-Socialiste. Paris; 1896. 


assumes. These professions were (after the manner of those 
of the Sansculottes) reduced by Mr. Gwynne, an agent of the Irish 
Grand Lodge, to a triple motto: "Protestantism, Loyalty, 
Organisation."^ The professed objecfts of the association are 
more definitely stated by Grand Chaplain Rev. H. Heather- 
shaw, at an Orange demonstration at Kew (Vicfloria). " The 
supreme objecSt of Orangeism," said Mr. Heathershaw, " may 
be summed up in very few words : The glory of God and the 
welfare of man, the honour of the Sovereign and the good of 
the country."^ These words are but a repetition of a favourite 
portion of what may be termed the official text of the sign- 
board of the lodges. The full text is contained in the follow- 
ing extracfts, which are placed before the public on all possible 
occasions, and serve as a sort of preface to the rule -books of 
the society : 

" Basis of the Institution. — ^The Orange Institution, 
so named in honour of King William, Prince of Orange, is 
composed of Protestants resolved to support and defend to 
the utmost of their power the Protestant religion, the laws oj 
the colony, the rightful Sovereign, being Protestant ; and to maintain 
the connedlion of this colony with Great Britain and Ireland. 
It is exclusively an association of those who are attached to 
the religion of the Reformation, and ivill not admit into its Brother- 
hood persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to persecute, injure, or 
upbraid any man on account of his religions opinions. 

" General Qualifications. — The Master and Members 
of any lodge in which a candidate is proposed must satisfy 
themselves previous to his admission, that he possesses the follow- 
ing qualifications : 

" An Orangeman should have a sincere love and veneration 
for the Triune God — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; an 
humble and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of 
mankind, believing him to be God and man, and the only 
mediator between God and man. He should cultivate truth 
and justice, brotherly kindness, charity, devotion, piety, concord, 
unity, and obedience to the laws ; his deportment should be gentle, 
compassionate, kind, and courteous ; he should cultivate the society 
of the virtuous, and avoid the company of the evil ; he should 
honour and diligently read the Holy Scriptures, and make them 
the rule of his faith and pracTiice ; he should love, uphold, and 
defend the Protestant religion, and sincerely desire and en- 
deavour to propagate its docftrines and precepts; he should 

^Mr. Gwynne, at his own request, gave evidence on behalf of the 
Orange society before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Belfast 
Riots, 1857. See their Report. 

■^Victorian Standard, August 31, 1896, p. 6. 



strenuously oppose the fatal errors and do6trines of the Church 
of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing, by his pre- 
sence or otherwise, any adt or ceremony of Roman Catholic 
worship;^ he should, by all lawful means, resist the ascendency 
of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its 
power, ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, a6tions, or senti- 
ments towards its adherents f he should remember to keep holy the 
Sabbath Day, and attend the public worship of God ; and 
diligently train up his offspring and all under his control in the 
fear of God, and in the Protestant faith; he should never take 
the name of God in vain, but abstain from all profane language, 
and use every opportunity of discouraging these and all other 
sinful pracftices in others. His conducfl should be guided by 
wisdom and prudence, and marked by honesty, temperance, 
and sobriety. The glory of God, the welfare of man, the honour of 
his Sovereign, and the good of his country should be the motives oj his 


The extradfs just given are the only portion of the Orange rule 
books which are published to the world. The remainder is jealously 
guarded, as we have seen, by elaborate precautions, and severe 
penalties, from the eyes of the day-lit world that lies outside 
the lodges. The " basis" and the " qualifications" serve, in a 
manner, {a) to conceal the real aims of the institution ; (b) to 
impress the public with a sense of the loyalty, piety, etc., of 
the organisation, and thus to attracft new members, and 
conciliate the sympathy, and, on occasion, the acftive support, 
of Protestants who do not ieel called upon to make formal 
profession of the peculiar theory of Christianity which is held 
in the lodges, {c) The "basis" and " qualifications" serve a 
still further purpose : On every occasion on which it becomes 
necessary to defend the charadler or proceedings of the Orange 
society, they are triumphantly advanced as a self-contained 
and "complete reply" to every charge which might be urged 
against it.' But it should be pointed out that : 

5The minutes of the Irish Grand Lodge for November 28th and 29th, 
1855, confirm the expulsion of an Orangemen from the society "for attend- 
ing Mass." Appendix 14 to Report of Belfast Riots Commission of 1857. 
The italics in the questions given above are mine. 

6" Our Roman Catholic brethren" are the words given in certain other 
versions of the "qualifications." 

''For instance, Grand Master Hon. Simon Fraser, M.L.C. (Vidloria) 
terms the "qualifications" "a complete reply" to stridures made against 
the society {Ararat Advertiser, July 7, 1896). Many other instances in point 
will be found in the Orange organ, the Victorian Standard, especially in the 
July and August numbers of each year, which are mainly devoted to 
reports of the annual demonstrations. See, for instance, the issue for June 
30, 1897. 

145 I 


1. These "qualifications," etc., prove nothing, except thai 
the assertions contained in them are made and pubUshed. 
They are not axiomatic statements, and do not contain the 
evidence of their ow^n truth. 

2. ParUamentary Committees, Royal Commissions, Protes- 
tant statesmen, judges, historians, etc., who are best acquainted 
with the history of Orangeism have, with practical unanimity, 
condemned these professions of piety and loyalty as misleading. 

3. The century-old contrast between the official pro- 
fessions and the official practices of the Orange body furnishes 
the most cogent grounds for assuming that these professions 
serve to cloak designs which the leaders of the association 
find it inconvenient to openly avow. 


Lord Gosford, a Protestant, who for forty years had wit- 
nessed the proceedings of the Orange society in Armagh and 
Tyrone,® said, in his examination before the Parliamentary 
Selecft Committee of 1835: " There was no doubt of the facfl, 
if what he had seen of the rules of the society was corredl, ht 
could say that their pra6lices differed greatly from their rules in 
several instances, and that their condiiCl had been diametrically 
opposed to those rules in many instances."^ This was the opinion 
of most of the witnesses examined by the same Committee. 
Lord Gosford said later on that in the " qualifications," etc., of 
the Orangemen, " there appears a great deal which is good 
Christian charity ; but they are not always adhered to in 
pradlice."'" The opinion of the Parliamentary Seledt Com- 
mittee of 1835, formed after long and exhaustive inquiry, 
was expressed in the following terms in iheu Report : 

" If the objedts of the Orange lodges were to be judged 
by the moral qualification required by any person before he 
can be admitted a member, there would be little objecftion to 
them. [The 'qualifications' are here given.] But your 
Committee are of opinion that the charadier and proceedings of the 
Orange society ought not to be tried by a mere reference to their 
professions, inasmuch as the conduct of that society, and the results 
which have ensued from their measures, are at variance with the 
OSTENSIBLE objeCts held out by their rides and ordinances.'"^^ Sir 
Frederick Stoven, Inspecftor-General of Constabulary, and a 
Protestant, deposed before the Parliamentary Committee of 

8He was son of the Earl of Gosford, whose speech on the early Orange 
outrages is given in chap, iv., supra, pp. 72-73. 

^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 3546. CT. Qq. 3713,3945. 3961, 4000,4519,4630. 

ioibid.. Q. 393S. 

^i Report of Seled Committee (English) on Orange lodges. 



1835, that the conducft of Orangemen was "the reverse of 
their professions."'^ 

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the great Belfast 
riots of 1857 confirmed the opinion formed by the Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835, and proved that in the meantime Orangeism 
had not changed its spots, " In pracftice," said the Commis- 
sioners' Report, " it [the Orange Society] is not as in the letter 
of its constitution."'^ A practically similar verdicft was 
reached by the other Royal Commissioners who were appointed 
to inquire into the scenes of secftarian riot, plunder, bloodshed, 
and loss of life, which drew the eyes of the astonished British 
world on the two great centres of Orange life and adiivity, 
Belfast and Derry, in 1864, i86g, 1883, and 1886. 

The Edinburgh Review of January, 1836, has the following, 
in an article based on the evidence laid before the Parliamentary 
Committee of the previous year; " Never did any society ex- 
hibit such a glaring inconsistency, rather such a positive contradic- 
tion between its professed principles and its adiual practice. The 
pracftice of the society was to resort to every contrivance to 
insult, to domineer over, to offend, to irritate their Roman 
Catholic neighbours." The "basis of the institution," quoted 
above, declares that they will not admit anyone to membership 
who would " upbraid any man on account of his religious 
opinions." " That is ridiculous," said an Ulster Protestant 
magistrate, Mr. James Sinclair, D.L., before the Irish Selecft 
Committee of 1835." 

An English Protestant writer of some note, Rev. William 
Nassau Molesworth, deals as follows with the pious professions 
of the Orange association : " Nothing, apparently, could be 
more unobjecflionable than the rules of this vast organisation. 
They breathed a spirit of moderation and toleration that was 
quite edifying. The members of the association were required 
to swear to ' defend the king and his heirs 50 long as they support 
the Protestant ascendency.' The objecfts of the association are 
stated to be 'exclusively Protestant, but at the same time most 
tolerant in spirit,' An Orangeman's qualifications are ' faith, 
piety, courtesy, and compassion.' He must be 'sober, honest, 
wise, and prudent.' He must love rational society, 'and hate 
swearing.' Such was the ideal Orangeman, as portrayed by 
the founders of the institution. But the adtual living Orange- 
man was a widely different creature. The usual place of 
meeting was the public-house, where political prayers were 

'^^Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 4628, 4630. 
''■^Report, pp. 10, II. 
^^Mimites of Evidence, Q. 4973. 


offered up, and various religious ceremonies gone through, in 
a manner that the habits, education, and feehngs of the 
majority of the members of these societies will enable the 
reader to imagine." The same writer goes on to describe the 
"stupid bigotry" of "these mischievious marplots;" their 
fanatical hatred of, and senseless msults to, Catholics , the 
fury with which they opposed " every attempt made by 
English statesmen to apply to Ireland the most elementary 
principles of civil and religious liberty;" and "the great 
national scale" of the evils produced by their pernicious 

It would be easy to multiply expressions of opinions such 
as those here given, but enough has been said to throw the 
most serious a priori doubts on the truth and sincerity of the 
professions which the leaders of the Orange society from time 
to time plead as a set-off to the ugly array of serious crimes 
and misdemeanours of which the Orange society has been found 
guilty by such competent tribunals as Royal Commissions and 
Selecft Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry. Such appeals to 
the " qualifications of an Orangeman" must be regarded rather 
as an effort to catch the crowd, than to convince people who 
read and reason. The course of this chapter will show that 
the language habitually used at such demonstrations furnishes 
by itself alone conclusive evidence that Orangemen themselves 
do not take their "qualifications" seriously. 


The typical twelfth of July Orange demonstration,^* as 
contemplated by the society, and carried out in Ulster, consists 
of two leading features : 

1. The oratorical display, consisting of sermons, speeches, 
toasts, etc. 

2. What may be termed the theatrical display, which 
consists mainly of public processions, with the use of party 
emblems and colours, party tunes and cries, etc. In the course 
of the next two chapters abundant reference will be made to 

^5 Hist, of England, vol. i., pp. 378-379- 

i^The Orange rule books, etc., term the twelfth of July "the anniver- 
sary of the battle of the Boyne." The battle was fought, not on the i2th, 
but on the ist of July, 1690. Any celebrations of the event that may have 
taken place must have been held on the ist of July, until 1752, the year in 
which England tardily adopted Pope Gregory XIII. 's reformed Julian 
calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, 12th July, new style, 
corresponds with ist July, old style. In seleding 12th July for their 
anniversary, Orangemen are paying a perhaps unconscious tribute to the 
memory of a great and good Pope, whom their orators would denounce as 
the Man of Sin. Compare Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. 
iii., char>. viii., p. 427, and note. 



the methods and the results of this chief feature in the celebra- 
tion of Orange anniversaries.^' 

The oratorical display of Australian Orangeism sufficiently 
exhibits : 

(a) The violent contrast that exists between the official 
professions and the official practices of the lodges ; and 

(b) The general spirit and drift of the institution. 

The oratorical display is, practically in every instance, so 
conducfled as to be to the last degree offensive to the most 
cherished beliefs and sentiments of Catholics. And this it is 
plainly intended to be. I purpose dealing with this feature of 
the annual July carnival by itself alone, and apart from the 
historic associations which, as the reader will see in the course 
of the next chapter, form a chief ground of irritation to a large 
and peaceable secflion of the community. 

In the eighteenth chapter of his Vanity Fair, Thackeray 
says : " One of the great conditions of anger and hatred is, 
that you must tell and believe lies against the hated objecft, in 
order to be consistent." This caustic remark of the great 
satirist finds a telling illustration in the sermons and speeches 
which are delivered from the Orange pulpit and platform each 
succeeding July, and which generally find their way to a wider 
public through the columns of the country press. The staple 
of these discourses consists of: 

I. Attacks, frequently of great virulence, on the Catholic 
Church. Her dodlrines and pracSlices are every year seriously 
misrepresented and held up to ridicule, contempt, and hatred. 

II. Attacks on the Catholic body. The Catholic popula- 
tion are set forth in globo, as being, by reason of their religion, 
untrustworthy, rebellious, disloyal, bloodthirsty, and, generally, 
highly undesirable citizens. Large classes of them — and 
especially the parochial clergy and the religious orders of men 
and women — are charged with the habitual commission of 
crimes of the gravest, and frequently of the most revolting, 

To gain an adequate idea of the vindidlive characfter of 
these periodical onslaughts on the Catholic Church and the 
Catholic body, one must perforce recur (i) to the sources of 
their inspiration, as well as to (2) the lodge organs in which 
they are gathered together from the four winds of heaven. 

(i) The sources from which those platform invecftives are 
drawn are almost invariably the demi-monde of the newspaper 
press, and the lowest class of No-Popery literature : the leaflets, 
tra(fts, treatises, controversial catechisms, " awful disclosures," 

I'^See chapter x., infra, note 73 and text, for remarks on Orange pro- 
cessions in the Australian colonies. 



convent " horrors," " abominations," etc., which circulate 
freely in the lodges, and serve to nourish and intensify the 
fiery odium theologicuni of the Orange association. The particu- 
lar forms of No-Popery "shockers" which find most favour in 
the lodges possess the two characfleristics which distinguish 
the literature of Exeter Hall : {a) the crude style, or, rather, the 
complete absence of style, which marks the schoolboy's 
"penny dreadful "j^*^ {b) a peculiarly fierce, and too frequently 
coarse, virulence against the Catholic body. The pens which 
wrote them might have been dipped in gall and assafcetida. 

(2). We naturally turn to the reports of such papers as the 
Vidtorian Standard when we wish to get an idea of the characSlei 
of the utterances which fall from the Orange pulpit and plat- 
form. The reader should, however, bear in mind the ia.61 that 
many of these reports are the carefully expurgated versions 
which have already appeared in the country press. Neverthe- 
less, the July and August numbers of the Vi6torian Standard 
give a good general effedl: of the temper of the mass of Orange 
speakers. A perusal of the reports, notes, and articles, 
which appeared in it since its inception, would enable the non- 
Orange reader to form an idea — although a very inadequate 
one — of the cornucopia of vituperation which has been poured 
out upon the Catholic population of one small colony, by one 
society, in the course of fourteen years. In estimating the 
spirit and drift of the association, the utterances of the July 

i^This lack of literary quality is peculiarly notable in the prose, and 
still more in the "poetry" written by Orangemen for Orangemen. The 
reader is referred to the columns of the Victorian Standard, to "Ulster- 
man's" Rise and Progress of Orangeism, and to the various colledtions of 
more or less doggerel Orange songs. The laureate of the lodges was one 
Mr. Robert Young ("Old True Blue") who published a volume of Orange 
"poems" in the sixties. Among the gems of his poetic fancy is one in 
which he tunes his lyre to sing of the day 

"When William's eighteen thousand men 
Crushed ]3.mes' s five-and-twenty ." 

Another of his "poems," I remember, had at the end of each verse 
this soul-stirring refrain : 

"Tow, row, row, row, row." 

Through some high influence "Old True Blue" contrived to get a 
pension of £i\o a year from the Literary Fund, and, of all others, from the 
scholarly translator of Homer, Lord Derby, who must never have read a 
line of the lodge laureate's songs. The grant in question led to a lively 
little debate in the House of Commons in or about 1867. In anticipation 
of the debate, all available copies of Young's poems were secured, by his 
friends, so that the members of the House should not be able to procure 
any. The London Morning Star of that date had some scathing articles on 
the degradation to which the recipients of the Literary Fund, writers of 
the highest eminence, had been subjeded. Lord Derby admitted that he 
did not know the charader of Young's "poetry" when he granted the 



platform cannot be passed lightly over. It is, moreover, for- 
tunate for the cause of truth that these annual displays betray 
the members of this dark-lantern organisation into a public 
avowal of its real character. Skolastikos, the Greek Joe 
Miller, carried a brick to the market-place of Athens as a 
sample of the house he wanted to sell. The limits of space 
will permit me to give only such small scraps of July in- 
ve(5live. I selecft, for preference, certain stock phrases or 
ideas which have been used by scores of speakers and writers 
besides those to whom they are here referred. 


I. The Catholic Chuvch. — It is an article of faith in the 
lodges that the Church of Rome is the Scarlet Woman of 
Revelations. This view of the Catholic Church takes the place 
of a first principle with the Victorian Standard, the organ of the 
lodges of the colony of Vicftoria. Every succeeding July it 
finds expression in Orange pulpits or on Orange platforms. At 
the Beaufort demonstration in 1895 the subjedl: was handled 
by a Primitive Methodist clergyman in what a Protestant 
newspaper terms "very strong" language. The preacher 
referred in terms of high panegyric to a book of a peculiarly 
acrimonious charadler, the whole purpose of which is to 
establish the identity of the Church of Rome with the Mistress 
of Abominations. " Orangemen," said the speaker, " could 
establish no better fund than for circulating this book 
widely."'" He declared that " Romanism is nothing more 
than baptised paganism" (this is a favourite expression in the 
Orange pulpit) ; that it has "dethroned Christ;" that it is a 
mass of idolatry, gross superstition, and of moral rottenness 
"that can't be referred to." When Romanism is destroyed 
off the face of the earth "a great shout of joy," said the 
preacher, "shall go up, so that even the angels in heaven 
shall join therein." A favourite text makes Rome — the 
Scarlet Woman— "drunk with the blood of the saints."^" "She 
is the Romish tiger,"^' "the Roman octopus, "^^ "the harlot 
Church. "^'^ "Vampire" is a favourite epithet for Rome. 
According to the Victorian Standard of July 31, 1896, it was 
used at the Melbourne demonstration by Grand Chaplain 
Heathershaw, coupled with another pretty title — " a vixenish 
Jezabel." But there are deeper depths in Rome; for, say the 

^^The Riponshive Advocate (Beaufort, Vic), July 20, 1895. 
"^^Ibid., and Victorian Standard reports, Jul)' and Kngusi, passim. 
^^Victorian Standard, July 3, 1SS5. 

^''Ihid., January i, 1886, p. 6; May, 1893, p. 6 (editorial). 
•^^Ibid., May, 1893, p. 6 (editorial). 



brethren, she is "a bad leaven in society ;"^^ she is Hkewise 
"the Church of the Apostate, "^^ " the mother of ignorance, 
superstition, and degradation i"^" and, like the monstrous odto- 
pus that she is, her " suckers are draining the land of its 
courage, its vitality, and its self-respecSt."^'' The full chorus of 
the brethren cry, fortissimo, that she is " the harlot of Baby- 
lon."-® At an Orange demonstration in Maryborough (Vic- 
toria) a Rev, Bro. W. Burridge (the "strong" speakers are 
generally " reverend") is reported to have charadlierised the 
Catholic Church as " the deadly enemy of truth-speaking; she 
made provision for falsehood;" and with her certain falsehoods 
" are permissible and highly meritorious." Other speakers 
and writers refer to the Catholic Church as " the bottomless 
pit of Rome."^^ 

At the Maryborough (Vidtoria) Orange anniversary of 1892 
the Rev. Mr. Mathieson (a Wesleyan minister) is reported to 
have said that the Catholic Church was " a corrupt system of 
Christianity, and Orangemen would do all in their power to 
prevent the advancement of that corrupt Christianity."^" Else- 
where she is described as only "a nominally Chrisiidi-n Church."*' 
These ideas of the Church of Rome are apparently not 
sufficiently "advanced" for the large body of Orange orators 
and writers who define Romanism as " nothing more than 
baptised paganism." Rev. S. H. Ferguson essayed a still 
bolder flight at the Melbourne Orange anniversary of 1891. 
He said: "I deny that the Church of Rome is a se6t of the 
Christian Church at all, and the Church of Rome denies it also. "■''■' 
Deputy Grand Master R. T. Vale, M.L.A., is reported to have 
said at an Orange demonstration in Ballarat that the principles 
of the Catholic Church are confounded with pagan ones."' 
The Grand Chaplain of Victoria — a Primitive Methodist 
clergyman — vigorously denounced " the half-paganised Church 
of Rome" at an anniversary celebration in Melbourne; while 
at Ballarat another reverend brother, according to the 
Victorian Standard, repeated the favourite platform didlum 
that "Romish" Christianity positively "encourages licentious- 

"i^Ibid., August, 1891, p. 4. 
^^Ibid., September i, 1885, p. 3. 
"^^Ibid., August, 1891. 
■^Uhid., May, 1893, p. 6 (editorial). 

'^^Ibid., July, 1892, p. 10, and Victorian Standard, passhn. 
■ 29See, for instance, Victorian Standard, January, 1894, p. 10. 
^"Ibid., July 15, 1892. See also Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser^ 
July 15, 1892. 

^'^Victorian Standard, March, 1894, p. 3. 

^•^Ibid. (own report), August, 1891. 

^^Ibid., August, 1887, p. 8. , 


ness."^* Deputy Grand Master R. T. Vale, M.L.A., said at 
an Orange banquet given to Grand Master the Hon. S. Fraser : 
" Roman Catholicism is synonymous with ignorance and 
squalor. "^^ At the Melbourne Orange anniversary, in 1893, 
Dean Macartney said that the Church of Rome is " the enemy 
of human liberty," and that she "brings slavery to mind and 
body, to the individual and the nation."^'' Mr. Clements 
improved on this at the Richmond (Vi(5foria) July demon- 
stration. "Roman slavery," said he, "is worse than black 
slavery."^' "The Papacy," said Mr. James Stewart, "is the 
greatest curse that ever fell upon the human race."^® Another 
Orange platform enthusiast, at Portland (Vi(ftoria), described 
the Catholic Church as " setting at defiance all principles of 
justice and good government ;"^^ while one of the limping 
" poets" of the Vidorian Standard is satisfied that " Satan and 
Popery walk hand in hand."''" The Contemporary Review for 
August, 1896 (p. 227), gives the following extracfls from an 
Ulster Orange ditty, in which the Catholic Church is thus 
apostrophised : 

"Scarlet Church of all uncleanness, 

Sink thou to the deep abyss. 
To the orgies of obsceneness. 

Where the hell-bound furies hiss; • 
Where thy father Satan's eye 

May hail thee, blood-stained Papacy ! 

" Harlot ! cease thy midnight rambles 

Prowling for the life of saints, 
Henceforth sit in hellish shambles 

Where the scent of murder taints 
Every gale that passeth by — 

Ogre, ghoul of Papacy ! " 

The columns of the Vicflorian lodge organ furnish many 
specimens of this school of poesy. A Past Grand Master, 
quoted by the Vi6iorian Standard of January 5, 1885, declare? 
that the Catholic Church "breeds treachery" and that 
"treachery is made duty" by her (p. 5). A thousand voices 
proclaim that the Church of Rome is the sworn enemy of the 
Bible, of popular education, of science, of progress, and that 

^^Ibid., July 31, 1896. 

^5 Ibid., May, 1894, p. 6. 

3 6 Ibid.. July, 1893. 


sslbid., January, 1885. 

^^Ibid., August, 1892, p. 7. 

^'^Ibid., April 30, 1897, p. 14. 


she is by nature and necessity a persecutor. We likewise 
learn (vide infra) from the Orange press and platform that 
Catholics are taught that it is no murder to kill Protestants; 
that the Church of Rome lives on in hopes of one day "setting 
her engines of death in motion" against them ; and that " all 
her priests are sworn to use the sword" for their extermina- 

" Wherever Catholicism exists," said a " Worshipful 
Master" at Benalla, "there, no matter [in] what country, is 
need for Orangeism, (Cheers). "^^ The effec5l of this declara- 
tion was somewhat marred by a subsequent statement by the 
same speaker, to the effedt that there were too many " Micks" 
and "Pats" [Catholics] in the Public Service of the colony. 
"At least we think so,'' said the speaker, "and this is the reason 
ivhy Orangeism exists in Victoria. (Loud cheers)." The reader 
will in due course see that the brethren's appreciation of what 
is termed "an open Bible" is coupled in Victoria, as well as in 
Belfast and Derry, with a peculiarly keen relish for the lion's 
share of the offices of honor and emolument in the gift of public 
bodies or of the Government of the day. 


In the reports of Orange demonstrations, gushing profes- 
sions of "love" for Roman Catholics are, with apologetic 
intent, occasionally mingled with expressions such as the 
following: "We hate Roman Catholicism," says the Rev. 
Bro. Brown at Horsham ; ^^ " we hate the [Roman Catholic] 
system," exclaimed Deputy Grand Master Wheeler at Pad- 
dington (N.S.W.) ;^« "we hate Popery," said Rev. S. H. 
Ferguson at the Melbourne Orange anniversary of 1891.^* 
And so on of many others whose words lie before the writer of 
these pages.- At the Kyneton demonstration in 1891 one of 
the speakers said : " Orangemen firmly believe that it is their 
duty to oppose the extension of that [the Catholic] Church."^-' 
The same idea is stated to have been still more frankly 
expressed at the Melbourne anniversary in 1893, by Deputy 
Grand Master R. T. Vale, M.L.A. : " Is it not sheer 
hypocrisy," this ex-Minister of the Crown is reported to have 
said, " for us to try and hide the faiH: that the object of our exist- 
ence is opposition to the Church of Rome ? "■"' "That organisation," 
said Brother Baker, at Kyneton, "we Orangemen oppose ivith all 

^1-Ibid., August, 1888, p. 9. 


^^Ibid., September i, 18S5, p 5. 

*^^Ibtd., August, 1891. 

^5 Ibid. 

^^Ibid., July, 1893. 


Ihe energy we possess." " The motto of a score of Orange speakers, 
including Revs. S. H. Ferguson and D. Parker, runs thus : 
" Our watchword is : ' No peace with Rome! ' "^* And so on and 
on, through all the varied moods and tenses of insult and 

''L'Eglise: voila T etmemi! " This is the cry in which, with 
heart and voice, the Orangeman joins with the French infidel 
— content that revelation should suffer so long as Rome should 
suffer too. 

A devil's dance. 

Creed and Ritual. — The speakers and writers who furnish 
what passes current for literature in the Orange lodges have 
evidently decided that it is not necessary to possess even a 
rudimentary acquaintance with the Catholic dodtrines and 
observances which they attack. To them, none the less, the 
creed and ritual of the overwhelming majority of Christians 
are a bottomless pit of seething " errors," " superstitions," 
"abominations," and all uncleanness. This is a fundamental 
article of faith which no Orangeman who is "in earnest" will 
presume to doubt. Around these epithets there whirls and 
eddies a devil's dance of fiery adjei5\ives — " abominable," 
"monstrous," "detestable," "soul-destroying," "degrading," 
"pestiferous," "ghoulish," "hellish," "devilish," "fiendish," 
etc. A score of mouths denounce " the barbarous rites of 
Rome."*" Past Grand Master Col. Evans assured his hearers, 
with ungrammatical lips, that " the peculiar ethics of Rome 
debauches (sic) human character, "^° The Vidorian Standard 
says in a sub-leader :®^ " The Christianity of the Romanist 
consists in incessant formalism . . and hatred of his 
Protestant neighbours and the British Government." Rev. 
S. H. Ferguson has apparently a very low estimate of the 
sincerity of even devout Catholics. He is reported to have 
said that their devotion "is simply paper devotion, and only 
on the surface ; it is not from the heart. "^'^ 

That consoling Catholic rite, the Sacrament of Penance, 
fujrnishes a topic on which the imagination of certain un- 
educated Orange clergy of the minor churches runs riot in 
charges and innuendos of coarse vulgarity against the Catholic 
clergy and laity. Under the thin pretence of protesting against 

^''IbiiL, August, 1 89 1. 
^^Ibid.. July 3, 1885; August, 1891. 
*9See, for instance, Victorian Standard, January, 1885. 

^^Ibid., January, 1894, p. 6. 

52At the Melbourne Orange Anniversary, 1891 {Victorian Standard, 
August, 1891). 


certain treatises that are meant for, and restri(51:ed exclusively 
to, private professional use, some of them dwell inordinately, 
in public, and before mixed assemblies, on descriptions of what 
they fancy would happen if the Sacrament of Penance were to 
be grossly and flagrantly abused. A sense of common decency 
forbids the transferring of extracfls on this subjedl to these 
pages. I will only refer, in passing, to a series of prurient 
" le(5lures" delivered in the colonies on this topic, under 
Orange auspices, some years ago. They are, in effecft, an 
attack of coarse brutality on the virtue of every Catholic 
woman and girl who is faithful in the discharge of her most 
sacred religious observances. The nature of these " lecflures" 
may be inferred from the following facft : In the advertising 
columns of a Melbourne paper, now before the writer, these 
" ledtures" are offered for sale among a list of publications that 
are considered by many persons who are competent to judge, 
to be unfit reading for any respecftable man or virtuous woman. 
In the advertising columns of a paper circulating extensively 
among the lodges, and now before the writer of these pages, 
the same disgusting attacks on the most sacred religious 
practices of Catholics, have been offered as a premium to the 
brethren throughout Vicftoria. The publication is of a kind 
that one should handle only with a pair of tongs.'" 

From the rank vulgarity of these press and platform out- 
rages on the feelings of Catholics I turn to the "qualifications" 
which every lodge candidate is (on paper) supposed to possess as 
a condition for memhersJiip of the society. ^^ We read : " An Orange- 
man should . . . cultivate truth and justice, brotherly kindness 
and chanty . . . ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, 
anions, or sentiments towards his Roman Catholic brethren.'" 
Brethren! Here again we have " Fi'aternite comme Cain avec son 
frere" — the brotherly love which Cain showed to Abel. 

^•'In 1867 serious disturbances were caused in England by a similar 
series of coarse "leftures," which were delivered, under Orange auspices, 
by an itinerant adventurer named Murphy. The mayor of Birmingham 
refused Mnrphy the use of the town-hall for his tirades. The "ledlures" 
were then delivered in a wooden building eredled for the purpose by the 
Orange and other supporters of Murphy. The "ledlures" were printed 
and sold in thousands. Serious riots ensued. The military were called 
out, the Riot Adt read, and for two or three days Birmingham was in an 
uproar. Murphy and the Orange party persisted in this "mischievous 
agitation," and riots broke out in other parts ot England where he 
appeared. "The pamphlet was ultimately seized under Lord Campbell's 
Adl for suppressing indecent publications, and many thousand copies of it 
were destroyed." Rev. W. Nassau Molesworth, Hist, of England, vol. iii., 
pp. 325-327- 

•''*The Rules of all the Orange societies say: "The Master and 
members of any lodge must satisfy themselves, previous to his [the candi 
date's] admission, that he possesses the following qualifications." 



II. The Catholic body. — (i) The Clergy. — On the Catholic 
priesthood Orange speakers launch forth the full-charged vials 
of their wrath. It would appear, from the utterances of the 
Orange press, pulpit, and platform, that all the deep and highly 
variegated " abominations of the Church of Rome" exist in an 
extremely concentrated and virulent form in the person of the 
Pope. He is, par excellence, the Man of Sin. He is " a 
spiritual tyrant," say a score of angry voices;^® "a tyrannical 
Herod " quoth Grand Chaplain Heathershaw on the Mel- 
bourne July platform.^^ At a July anniversary in Perth 
(W.A.), a Rev. Mr. Dunstan is reported to have assured his 
hearers that " the Pope not only sold his forgiveness for 
sins committed in the past, but even [sold] his pevmission and 
forgiveness for sins to be committed in the future, according to the 
price paid."" At the Melbourne anniversary of 1895, ^ Rev. T. 
J. Malyon — with the help of a few apocryphal extradfs — 
made the Pope claim to be no less a being than Almighty God 
Himself P^ According to the Victorian Standard, his efforts won 
him "a salvo of applause. "^^ A year later, on the same plat- 
form, Grand Chaplain Heathershaw averred that the Pope 
claims equality with God, but that, nevertheless, the Man of 
Sin somehow contrives to make the Almighty " take a back 
seat."^° Catholics would deem it a shocking blaspemy to ad- 
dress the occupant of the Roman See as "our Lord God the 
Pope;" but the editor of the Vidlorian Standard, and quite a 
little host of whooping orators who take their inspiration 
from the same founts, are agreed that such a title is conferred 
by those unspeakable Papists on " Signor Pecci" and his pre- 
decessors.®^ The ancient ceremony of homage, kissing the 
cross on the sandal of the " Son of Perdition" was made the 
aubjedl: of strong invecftive by a Presbyterian clergyman, Rev. 
M. G. Hart, at an Orange demonstration held in Maryborough 
(Vidloria), in 1887. The speaker is reported to have said that 
he " would sooner kiss a pig's toe than the Pope's.""^ 

ssE.g., Rev. S. H. Ferguson, Vtctoriafi Stayidard, August, 1891. 

^^Victonan Standard, July 31, 1896. 

^''Victorian Standard, August, 1892. 

S8A complete exposure of this extraordinary story will be found in 
Rev. Sydney F. Smith's pamphlet, Does the Pope claim to be God? It is 
published by the Catholic Truth Society, London. 

^^ Victorian Standard, July 30, 1895. 

«°Ibid.. July 31, 1896. 

^iSee, for instance, Victorian Standard editorial, May, 1893, p. 6. The 
"Signor Pecci" so often referred to by the Sta>idard is Pope Leo XIII. 

^^Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, July 13, 1887. Kissing of the 
feet was an Oriental custom which spread to the West. It was given to 
emperors, patriarchs, bishops, and the Pope. Late in the middle ages the 



The use of the term " Papist" was expressly forbidden as 
offensive by the 50th of Queen Elizabeth's Injundions of 
1559. It is employed, as an insulting epithet, throughout the 
whole Penal Code of William of Orange, Anne, and the 
Georges. It is to this day the most opprobrious epithet in the 
vocabulary of an Orangeman, and is used only when the dead- 
liest insult is intended. "^^ One of the favourite party-tunes of 
the Ulster lodges is: " We'll kick the Pope before us." Their 
traditional cry is : " To hell with the Pope!" 

The most shocking instance of coarse abuse of the Pope 
which has ever come under the writer's notice is a paean of 
rejoicing at the death of Pius IX. It is written, of course, by a 
clergyman (a Rev. D. T. Taylor), is reprinted at the office of the 
Victorian Standard, and circulated among the lodges, and 
(occasionally at least) among public institutions, in Vicftoria. 
It opens with the words : " The Pope is dead. Amen. 
Hallelujah !" The writer describes the amiable and saintly 
old Pontiff as a " huge impostor," a "gigantic humbug," " an 
immoral fashionable fop," a libertine, "a spiritual tyrant," "an 
endless beggar and ceaseless bore," a " cheat," " a miser," a 
"conspirator," "a liar," a gambler, "a curse to mankind," 
" this beast,'' " Antichrist," the " Man of Sin," " the mystery 
of iniquity," "the Wicked One" [the Devil], " a producfl of 
Satan's working," the " Abomination of earth," etc., etc. The 
reverend writer states dogmatically that Pius IX. is gone to 
"Hades," and concludes 134 closely-printed lines with the 
prayer : " May a merciful Heaven rid the earth of the last 
vestige of a Pope of Rome. Amen." Some of this clergy- 
man's language is of so coarse a nature that I dare not transfer 
it to these pages. 


The remainder of the Catholic clergy are denounced as 
rapacious, rebellious, traitorous, tyrannical, etc.;"^ they are " a 
brutal and ignorant priesthood ;"''^ their pet policy to " to keep 
the masses in ignorance ;"'''' they are " trading on the ignorance 
of the people," said Mr. J. B. Patterson, M.L.A., and others.^' 
In Ireland, in recent years, the Catholic priesthood have, 
we are assured, given " a diredl encouragement" to murder. '^^ 

custom fell gradually into disuse, and was at last confined to the Pope. 
The cross on the sandal is kissed to show that "this honour was done, not 
to the mortal, bnt to the Son of God." Kraus, Encyclopaedia of Archeology. 

^'^Contemporary Review, August, 1896, p. 226. 

^'^Victorian Standard, August, 1893; June, 1885, p. 7, o.nd passim. 

'"'^Ibid., leader, August, 1893, p. 6. 

""'^Ibid., February, 1894, P- 6 (leader). 

''''Ibid., August, 1887, p. 5. 
^^Ibid., February, 1894, p. 5. 



Loyal Orange lodge No. 9 (Melbourne) showed its pra<ftical 
sympathy with a priest's traducers when it voted £1 2s. 
towards the costs of the Launceston Daily Telegraph, the 
proprietors of which had been compelled to pay £\^o damages 
for a serious libel on Father Coveney, of Dunmanway, Co. 
Cork, Ireland."^ An editorial paragraph in the Victorian 
Standard for January, 1895, i^eferred to priests as '^libidinous 
brutes." The Boyne issue of the same paper for 1886 contains 
(p. 4) the following outrageous statement : " Public celibacy is 
private wickedness." It is aimed at the Catholic clergy ; but 
it is, in effecft, a gross imputation on the virtue of every 
unmarried man and woman — Catholic and Protestant, Jew 
and Orange — from East to West, and from the North Pole to 
the South, 

(b) Convents. — The gross imagination of the Orange orator 
and writer runs riot on what is termed the "conventual 
system of the Church of Rome." Here the clergy have the 
floor almost to themselves, and^before mixed audiences — they 
fling themselves with the perspiring vigor of dancing dervishes 
into all the wild and screaming gyrations of anti-convent 
rhetoric. One of the itinerant Orange preachers, a certain 
Rev. T. J. Malyon, is reported by the Maryborough Standard of 
July 13, 1897, to have referred to English convents as places 
where women " are kept prisoners at the mercy of a celibate 
clergy, who have power, unless their behests are obeyed, 
to inflicfl on these hapless and helpless vicftims torture 
under the name of penance." I owe the reader an apology 
for having inflicfted on him even this mildest of doses 
of Orange anti-convent oratory. A sense of common 
decency forbids my placing before him any of the more 
highly- concentrated and nauseous samples which I have 
met with in rank abundance in the course of my weary 

^^Ibid., August, 1891. The libel consisted in the publication, by the 
Launceston Daily Telegraph, in 1891, of a statement that he had "prayed 
that God Almighty might bless the hand that murdered Police-Inspedtor 
Martin at Gweedore." Rev. George Clark, Congregational minister, Vice- 
Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, and Very Rev. A. N. Mason, 
Anglican Archdeacon of Hobart, testified that "such a charge, if true, 
would unfit the accused for his sacred office, and, if believed, would 
irretrievably damage the reputation of any minister in Christendom." An 
apology was refused, even after the .proprietor of the Daily Telegraph had 
seen the apology tendered in open court in Ireland, for the very same libel, 
by the London Standard. An offer made by Rev. J. O'Mahony, on behalf 
of his absent friend, to accept an ample apology, £2.^, and costs as between 
solicitor and client, was also scouted. An exclusively Protestant jury 
awarded Father Coveney ;^i5o damages, and costs. In these circum- 
stances Orangemen showed their pradtical sympathy for the vilification of 
the Catholic priesthood. Launceston Morning Star, July 11, 1891. 


journey through the malodorous realm of Orange "literature.' 
In the notices, circulars, and placards issued by the Irish 
Orange leaders in the eighties, the whole Nationalist party, 
both Catholic and Protestant, were flung together in one 
promiscuous bundle, and labelled " liars," " slanderers," 
" rebels," " Fenians," " Socialistic rebels," " rebel con- 
spirators," " rebels and murderers," " murderous butchers," 
etc. An entertaining series of these war-whoops ap- 
peared at the time in the columns of the Daily Ex- 
press, the chief organ of the Irish lodges. A further in- 
stalment of them are enshrined in the now too rare phamplet, Mr. 
Healy's Loyalty phis Murder. A chief feature of the " literature" 
of the lodges consists of lecftures and romances which, jn coarse 
language and limping style, launch the most disgusting and 
wholesale charges of phenomenal immorality, systematic 
cruelty, torture, infanticide, murder, etc., against the devoted 
bands of women who have consecrated their lives, without fee 
or reward, to the cause of education, or to the care of the 
leper, the sick, the blind, the aged poor, and the orphan. A 
peculiarly bitter anti-convent romance. Nightshade, was written 
by the notorious Irish Orange leader, Mr. William Johnston, in 
1857, ^nd reprinted in 1895. ^^ September 29, 1886, the 
Grand Committee of the Melbourne Grand Lodge passed the 
following resolution : That, " in order to have Mrs. O'Gorman 
Aviffray's [anti-convent] ledtures fully reported, a weekly issue 
of the Victorian Standard should be printed and circulated 
among the lodges."'" Urgent circulars were sent out to the 
lodges by Grand Secretary Waugh and by the publisher 
[Burford] , appealing to them to take up the matter " in a 
proper spirit," " as we know what signal service this heroic 
lady has rendered the cause of Protestantism [Orangeism ?] 
wherever she has lectured. "'^ To this day the Vidorian 
Standard office circulates among the lodges the old and oft- 
exposed anti-convent romance, the Awful Disclosures,'''^ that have 
been attributed to a poor half-witted Presbyterian named 
Maria Monk, who spent a notable portion of her unhappy 
career — where she also ended it — behind the iron doors of a 
Canadian jail. The foulness of some of the anti-convent ficftion 

'''^Victorian Standard, November 1, 1886, p. 7. The Victorian Standard 
is published once a month. 

''''■Ibid. A complete refutation of this woman's wild tales, consisting 
in great part of her own letters, was published in America on the occasion 
of her first appearance on the leduring platform, and again at Dunedin 
and Geelong, in 1886. 

'^The exposure of the Maria Monk fraud will be found in The True 
Story of Maria Monk, mainly a re-print of what appeared in the Dublin 
Review of May, 1836. Catholic Truth Society. One penny. 



circulating among the lodges of these colonies is such that no 
pure-minded man who uses soap and water would handle them 
except with a pair of tongs and disinfecftants. Those who 
print such literary garbage, or who (like the Orange lodges) 
circulate it among young men and women, should be debarred 
from all intercourse with decent society. The writer of these 
pages can furnish abundant grounds for the opinion to which 
he has just given such frank expression. In pradlically every 
case in which Orange lecfturers and romancists fling abominable 
charges at monastic institutions, they discreetly refrain from 
giving names of persons or places, so as to baffle inquiry and 
avoid the clutches of the law of libel.''* Zolaism will not die 
so long as an Orange press survives. 

But, if we are to believe the " qualifications," the Orange 
society " will not admit into its brotherhood persons whom an 
intolerant spirit leads to persecute or upbraid any man on 
account of his religious opinions"; and an Orangeman should 
" ever abstain from all uncharitable words, a(5tions, or [even] 
sentiments towards his Roman Catholic brethren." 


2. Among the thousand and one faults which the twelfth 
of July orators attribute to the Catholic laity the two most 
conspicuous are : 

[a) Disloyalty ; 

Ip) Murderous propensities towards Protestants. 

{a) Disloyalty. — Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, are 
habitually termed " rebels," " rebels of the West and South."'* 
" Steeped to the lips in treason" is a favourite phrase.'^ At 
the Melbourne Orange anniversary of 1886, a well-known 

''•''In his issue of January, 1895, the editor of the Victorian Standard 
departed from his usual custom, and incautiously gave names of places and 
persons, detailing a shocking calumny against the Convent of SS. Joseph 
and Theresa, at Naples. The proprietor was compelled, besides paying 
costs, to publish the following in seledted portions of three issues of his 
own paper, and of three consecutive Saturday's issues of the Argus and the 
Age, beginning with June 15, 1895: 

"In the January issue of our Journal, the Victorian Standard, we re- 
printed from one of our exchanges a report of an alleged scandal, said to 
have occurred at the Convent of St. Joseph and Theresa at Naples. We 
have since been assured that the statements made are utterly false and 
without foundation. We regret that the offending paragraph appeared in 
this journal, and trust that this explanation may remove any feeling of 
annoyance to the parties concerned. 

C. W. BuRFORD, Publisher Victorian Standard." 

''^See, for instance, the Victorian Standard reports, etc., December 9, 
1884, p. 4; May 2, 1885, p. 5; June 2, 1885, p. g; July, 1886, p. 10 ; August 
2, 1886; July, 1892; January, 1894, p. 6; May, 1894, p. 3; June 30, 1S97 

''^Ibid., May 2, 1885, p. 5. 

161 K 


clergyman said : " There was but one thing recognised as a 
crime among the Irish [Catholics] , and that was loyalty."'^ 
The " basis of the institution" in the amended rules of the 
Irish Grand Lodge, 1814, contains the following : " We shall 
not persecute anyone on account of his religion, provided that 
the same be not hostile to the State.'''' The Irish Orange secretary, 
Swan, when asked by the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 if 
he thought the Catholic religion " hostile to the State," honestly 
answered : " I do." " Like the oaths, signs, election rules, 
etc., the phrase marked above in italics has been quietly 
omitted from Orange rule-books. The old words are gone, but 
the old spirit still remains. The profession of the Catholic 
religion was a crime in the eyes of Vicftorian Orangemen in 1896, 
as it was, according to Lord Gosford, among their forerunners 
in Ulster in 1796. There, by lodge law, part of the punish- 
ment for being a Catholic was expulsion from hearth and 
home. Here, belief in Transubstantion and the Primacy of 
St. Peter raises a cry for exclusion from employment in the 
service of the State. I need only refer to the Post-Office 
Inquiry revelations for proof of this statement. 

The French Communist's first principle is: "La propriete c'est 
le vol " (property is theft) ; and he proceeds to help himself to 
his neighbour's goods. "Catholics are traitors" is a first 
principle of the Orange institution ; and they carry it into 
pra(5tice by doing what lies in their power to make Vidloria 
what the Corporations of Belfast and Derry have been almost 
to the present day, as far as Orangemen could make them, 
close preserves where Catholics were pradtically excluded from 
representation and from a share in the public funds. The old 
spirit of exclusiveness and party ascendency finds many an 
exponent to this day on the Orange platform in Australia.''^ 
It is part of the settled policy of the lodges in ihese colonies, 
the leaders of which have time and again given expression 
to opinions such as the following : no CathoHc " can be 
trusted in the service of a Protestant State."" An article in 
the Vidtorian Standard for January, 1895 (p. 4), has the 
following : 

" The Papists seek to secure posts of influence for them- 
selves and their devotees, from a seat in the Government of the 
nation and Empire, down to the lowest and most retiring 

7 6/fc?i. (own report), August 2, 1886, p. 5. 

''''Minutes 0/ Evidence, Q. 1207. 

7 8See Report of Melbourne Post Office Inquiry, in Preface. 

''^Victorian Standard, July, 1894, p. 7. This is a favourite topic with 
the Orange organ. Catholic appointments of note in the public service are 
a subjeft of comment in its columns, as for instance, the late Mr. Dowden's 
appointment to the office of Public Librarian, Melbourne. 



situation, ivheve they may exercise theiv baneful influence. Let us 
imitate their example, in courage, perseverance, and eagerness to 
obtain such posts for Orangemen.''' 

Reference has already been made, in the course of this 
chapter, to the declaration of a " Worshipful Master " at 
Benalla, that the great reason why Orangeism exists in 
Vidloria is simply this : that they think there are too many 
Catholics in the Public Service of the colony. This is 
confirmed by an amended, single-sheet version of what is 
termed the " Definition of Orangeism " now before the writer 
of these chapters. It gives the following reason for the society 
being a secret one : " We need a common centre around which 
Protestants may rally, . . . more especially as in Canada, the 
United States, and these colonies, the Civil Service is in the hands of 
Irish Catholics.'' According, therefore, to the declaration of the 
L.O.L. press and platform, a chief, if not the chief, purpose of 
the societies in these colonies is to drive Catholics from the 
Public Service, and to fill their places with Orangemen. 
With such incitements from press and platform, is it any 
wonder that the rude members of Orange lodges should 
attempt, by unfounded charges, to drive their Catholic fellow- 
employes from the service of the State ? 

In a later chapter we shall see how the Parliamentary 
Seledf Committee of 1835, in the interests of public safety, 
recommended the urgent and immediate dismissal from the 
British Public Service, not of Catholics, but of Orangemen ; 
and how, in 1857, a Lord Chancellor of Ireland was forced, by 
the scandalous conducft of the Orange magistracy of Ulster, to 
issue an order that none of the brotherhood were to be 
admitted in the future to the Commission of the Peace. 

On the establishment of the first Orange lodges, in 1795, 
the brethren, by systematic intimidation and violence, forced 
Protestants in Ulster to dismiss their Catholic employes.**" To 
the present day the antipathy of the lodges pursues the 
Catholic poor, even into their private employments. As a rule, 
where there is a choice, " no Papist need apply" to an Orange 
employer. In its issue of (I think) January, 1895, theVi(ftorian 
Standard published uncomplimentary stridlures on Catholic 
domestic servants. The following thinly veiled request to 
Protestant employers to deal specially with their Catholic 
employes, appeared in a leader in the Belfast News-Letter of July 
8, 1886, commenting on tne return of Mr. Sexton, the Home 
Rule candidate, for West Belfast : 

" The second lesson [of the contest] is perJuips more important 

8®See chapter iv., supra. 



[than the first.] ®^ The large employers of labour, the manufac- 
turers, merchants, and traders of this great commercial centre, 
now know their friends. ... As a rule, when men in emi- 
nent and influential positions have discovered their friends, they begin 
to feel that it is their duty, as well as their interest, to take care of 

But Orangemen solemnly assure us that it is part of the 
very " basis of the institution" to rigidly exclude from the 
brotherhood all " persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to 
persecute, injure, or upbraid any man on account of his 
religious opinions." Moreover, the public are asked to believe 
that before a candidate is admitted to the Orange society the lodge 
officers " must satisfy themselves" that he possesses the 
following " qualification" in addition to a whole litany of 
private and public virtues : that he will " ever'' [even at Orange 
demonstrations] abstain from all uncharitable ivords, actions, 
or [even] sentiments towards his Roman Catholic brethren.'' 
Orange practices have been for a century at daggers drawn 
with Orange professions. Thus far not the slightest attempt 
has ever been made to bring them into harmony. 


I now come to what is, perhaps, the worst feature in 
this bad business of defamation of the Catholic body from the 
Orange press and platform. The policy of the Orange leaders 
seems to be : 

{a) To excite their rude rank and file to halved of gullible 
pitch against things and persons Catholic. This purpose is 
effe(fted in the manner already indicated. 

{b) Next, to play upon i\\e\x fears. 

This latter portion of Orange policy is effeded by repre- 
senting the Catholic body as being for ever plotting against the 
rights, the hberties, nay, even the lives of their Protestant 
neighbours 1 It may seem incredible that such statements 
should be made in this new land, and in the last decade of the 
nineteenth .century. But the evidence of it is simply over- 
whelming. There are two circumstances which go to show 
that the wholesale charge of murderous intent is not without 
effedt. They are : 

{a) The frequent resort made to this charge by Orange 
speakers and writers in these colonies, especially by clergymen. 

{b) The palliation or defence of these wild charges — by 
clergymen, too — in the columns of the public press.*^^ 

81" The first lesson is, that, outside the West Division . . the 

Parnellites are powerless." 

'32For instance, Rev. W. Parkes, in Waryagul Guardian, 14th July, 1896. 
Some of the most sanguinary charges of this kind are contained in an 



" Roman Catholics have a superstitious hatred of everything 
Protestant," said Rev. F. C. Hawkins, at Portland.^ Again he is 
reported to have said : " Though neither an open nor a sworn 
enemy of Protestantism, yet assuredly, Roman Catholicism 
would at any time welcome its annihilation. What menace could be 
greater ?" Grand Master J. C. Neild declared at Sydney that 
the R.C. Church " works with incessant adlivity to undermine 
not only the Protestant faith, but the civil authority."^ A 
sub-leader in the Vicflorian Orange paper (already quoted) 
states that " the Christianity of the Romanist consists in 
incessant formalism . . and hatred of his Protestant neighbours." 
" The one motto of Romanists," said Rev. Bro. D. Parker, 
"is, ' Death and anathema to religious freedom.'" "Romanism 
retains the principles of persecution, pradlices them whenever 
she has an opportunity to do so, and only waits (sic) the power — 
as she has the passion — to do as she has done in the past : to 
light up other Smithfields, and originate another St. Bartholomew.''** 
At the Melbourne Orange anniversary of 1887, ^ ^^^- H. A. 
Langley excited his hearers by making the gentle Cardinal 
Manning say that one of his main purposes in life was " to 
stamp out Protestantism all over the world."®*' The following 
year Dean Macartney told his hearers that "Rome" was 
prepared for massacre.'*'' A feature of the lodge organ, the 
Victorian -Standard, is the number of screaming articles, re- 
ports, etc., which it publishes denouncing Catholics as ever 
ready to imbrue their hands in the blood of Protestants.®^ An 
Orange speaker (or writer) in the Vidorian Standard for July, 
1885, speaks of Rome's " bitter regrets over the loss of power 
to grind Protestants to powder. But Rome has not abandoned 
the hope of some day setting her engines of death in motion. 
. . . One of her priests has said : 'All her priests swear: We will 
prosecute this cursed evangelical doCirine as long as we have a drop of 
blood ill our veins, and we will eradicate it, secretly and publicly, 
violently and deceitfully^ with words and deeds, the sword not 
EXCEPTED.' "®® In the same speech (or article) occur the follow- 

Orange leaflet, "in which," said "Brother" Rev. A. Madsen "fairly and 
frankly are stated the aims of the L. 0. L." (Letter to Ararat Advertiser, 12th 
July, 1895). Rev. A. Madsen appears to be the acknowledged Press 
champion of Orangeism in Vidoria. 

^'■^Victorian Sldudard, August, 1892. 

Si I bid. 

B^'/bid., July. 1885, p. 8. 

s^Ibid., August, 1887. 

^''Ibid., August. 1888. 

^^'See, for instance, Victorian Standard, Mav, 1^93, p- 7, and the 
numberless articles on the Inquisition, etc. 

■"'The italics and capitals in the alleged quotation are given by the 
Vidoyiun Standard. 



ing words : " We know the Papacy is a tremendous conspiracy 
against the liberties of mankind, and every man and woman who 
refused to how the knee to the Baal of Popery is marked for destruc- 
tion."^° The same paper publishes the following : " Roman 
Catholics would murder them [Protestants] if they got Home 
Rule. They are already smacking their lips in delicious anticipa- 
tion. The operation has been recently referred to in one of 
their own papers as cutting out the Protestant cancer. ''^^ Similar 
shrieks of premeditated massacre came in a volley from the 
Orange press and platform during the Home Rule agitation in 
the eighties, as the reader can learn by reference to the 
pamphlet. Loyalty plus Murder, and to the columns of the Dublin 
Daily Express. 

A tracft entitled Twenty Reasons for being an Orangeman, 
circulates extensively among the lodges of Vicftoria. The 
" twenty reasons " were written by a former Irish Grand 
Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Drew, whose wild and inflammatory 
harangues had so much to do with the riots and bloodshed 
that occurred at Belfast in 1857. (It is significant that, both in 
Ireland and the colonies, the clergymen who are promoted to 
high positions in the Order are precisely those whose utterances 
are most violent and outrageous to the feelings of their 
Catholic fellow-citizens). The tradt referred to warns Protes- 
tants that 

[a) " The lives of Protestants are [present tense] endan- 
gered by Catholics." 

{b) " The Church of Rome teaches [present tense] in her 
schools that heresy is not to be endured, nor heretics to be per- 
mitted to live.''' 

{c) " Popery annually breathes [present tense] denuncia- 
tions at Rome against the existence of heretics (Protestants). "^- 

The leaflet adds dark hints of a coming massacre of 
Protestants, and concludes by saying "that if we be united 
. . . the TIME, the man, and the deliverance will come."^^ 
This tradl: also gives a bogus " Fenian oath," which breathes 
throughout blood and slaughter against Protestants.^* Another 
issue of the same tradt, in the writer's possession, makes the 
Canon Law declare that it is no homicide to kill heretics from 
motives of zeal ; " that the goods of heretics are to be confisca- 
ted and applied to the Church ;" and that " no oath is to be 

^°/bid., July. 1885, p. 8. 
^^Ibid., July, 1892. 

82The word "Protestant" is given as above in the oriojinal. 
o-''The capitals are as in the original. 

9*The oath in question bears no resemblance whatever to the genuine 
Fenian oath, which is given in A. M. Sullivan's New Ireland. 



kept toward heretic princes, lords, and others." These latter 
"extracts" formed the piece de resistance of a typical anti- 
Catholic speech, delivered by a Rev. T. J. Malyon at an Orange 
anniversary in Melbourne in 1895.^^ It is needless to say that 
these alleged " extracfls " do not represent the teaching of any 
Catholic Manual of Canon Law. 

The writer of these pages has been assured by several 
experienced pressmen that many of the most offensive and 
inflammatory utterances of the Orange platform are studiously 
suppressed in the country newspaper reports of the July 
demonstrations, from which they are copied into the pages of 
the Victorian Standard. Nevertheless, we sometimes stumble 
across such gems of oratory as that in which an excited 
brother at Maryborough (VicStoria) expressed a feverent desire 
that the Orangemen of Ireland should be "let loose" for the 
extermination of their Catholic fellow-countrymen.^^ In his 
evidence before the Derry Royal Commission of 1869, the dis- 
tinguished Presbyterian journalist. Dr. James McKnight, 
utters a vigorous condemnation of the platform oratory of the 
Orange association, and of its publication in the columns of 
the press. ** As given in the journals attached to the particular 
party," said he, " the speeches are in the very coarsest terms . 
of the day; very strong Tory speeches; true Tory and No- 
Popery speeches. That is the charac5ter of the oratory we are 
regaled by."^' 


Extra(5ts such as those given above could be multiplied 
indefinitely. They are to be found in embarrassing profusion 
in the reports of Orange demonstrations and in other printed 
matter that circulates among the lodges. But no mere extracfts 
will give an adequate idea of the malignity of the methods by 
which the rude rank and file of the lodges are, from New Year's 
Day to St. Silvester's, lashed into a frenzy of fine fury against 
their Catholic neighbours. The brief quotations given will, 
however, broadly indicate to the reader 

1. The bitter hatred of Orangemen, and especially of the 
Orange clergy, for their Catholic fellow-citizens ; 

2. The grotesque contrast between the official professions 
and the official pracftices of the fraternity ; 

3. The outrage which the oratorical display of the Orange 

^^Victorian Standard, July 30, 1895. 

s^See chapter iv., supra, p. 68. 

^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5342; cf. Qq. 5329, 5340 Dr. James 
McKnight had had at the time forty-two year's experience of press work 
in Belfast and Derry (Qq. 53^4-5325). He was editor of the Banner 0/ 
Ulster (Belfast) and, subsequently, of the Derry Standard. ^ 



platform (reported generally in the local press) inflicfts on the 
most cherished feelings of the Catholic body. 

The '* glorious twelfth" is followed by no truce. Evil tales 
are treasured up and added to month after month by the muck- 
rakes of the L.O.L. press ; and are too often dragged up, with 
unfriendly intent, in places where Orangemen are associated 
with Catholics in their daily employments. 

Mopsa says in the Winter's Tale: " I love a ballad in print, 
a' life, for then we are sure they are true." The superstition 
of the printed page tives into our day. It is most rife among 
the lower orders, the less educated and more gullible classes 
of the community, such as constitute the great bulk of the 
membership of the Orange lodges. With a view to forming, 
from Orange sources, a just idea of Orange feeling towards 
Catholics, I have, since July, 1896, waded through a great 
part of the literature that circulates among the lodges of 
Vi(floria, including the reports of every demonstration of note 
that has been held in the colony since the beginning of 1884, 
as well as of many that have taken place in other parts of 
Australia, and in Canada and Ulster. The perusal of that mass 
of printed matter has forced upon my unwilling mind the 
following melancholy conclusion, every word of which has 
been carefully considered : It is extremely difficult, if not 
morally impossible, for the class who form the rank and file of 
the Orange association to continue, year in year out, to hear 
and read these persistent and ominous cries of treason, blood, 
treachery, torture, and general massacre, without settling 
down into the two following convi(5lions : 

(a) That their Catholic fellow-citizens are only awaiting 
the day of power, or other suitable opportunity, to rise at a 
preconcerted signal and slay Protestants in their beds ; 

{b) That the chief hope of " deliverance" of Protestants 
from the impending doom, will lie in their being " united" and 
organised beforehand in the serried ranks of the Orange insti- 

It is difficult to resist the conclusion that such is not merely 
the effecfl, but also the intended purpose, of these philippics, on 
the body of the members of the Orange association. In all matters 
regarding the general wickedness and perversity of Catholics, 
the gobemoucherie of the lodges is well nigh incredible. The 
briefest reference to the society's reading matter will show that 
in these things L.O.L. writers and speakers are continually 
putting the credulity of the brethren to the severest strain, 
without by any means exhausting its wondrous capabilities. 
" The daughters of the leech cry : More, more !" The pity of 
this bad business is this : that the most extreme and persistent 



of those senseless — I had almost said criminal — alarmists, are 
not, us a rule, the " lewd fellows of the baser sort," whose 
words carry little or no weight with their hearers ; but the 
Orange clergy — the men of all others, wrto, by reason of their 
sacred calling, ought to endeavour to guide the hearts of the 
brethren into the gentler paths of peace and goodwill. 

Anyone who has noticed the springs of mob violence in 
history needs not to be told that these persistent and intem- 
perate Orange utterances are a distincft menace to the public 
safety. They evoke among Orangemen, and especially among 
the lower orders of Orangemen, a spirit w^hich a spark might 
kindle into flame, and a passing breeze of political excitement 
fan into a conflagration. The Gordon and Know-nothing riots 
are cases in point. The Royal Commission of Belfast, in 
1857, gave it as their opinion that the inflammatory utterances 
of the lodge chaplains had a good deal to do with the scenes oi 
riot, bloodshed, murder, and pillage which disgraced the capital 
of Orangeism in that year.®* The Repori of the Derry Com- 
mission of i86g bears similar evidence. And ever since 1795 
the histories of these two great centres of Orange life and 
adtivity furnish similar instances in melancholy profusior>. 
They are prudent rulers -who learn lessons of pracftical wisdom 
from the experiences which the pages of history place before 
them. The Brunswick (Melbourne) L.O.L. demonstration ol 
Sunday, July 19, 1896 ;^ the displays which took place in 1897 
at the same place and at Prahran, Walhalla, and elsewhere ; 
all prove that the Orange question is looming up in VicTtoria. 
We have in our midst, fully organised and preparing, the forces 
which, with pious phrase and in Christ's sweet name, have 
crimsoned the streets of Belfast, Derry, Toronto, and so 
many other places, with the blood of the very fellow-Christians 
whom they call " brethren." 

^^Report, p. 10. Some of the sermons, etc., appear in Appendix to 

^^ArgHs and Age, July 20, 1S96, and July ig, 1S97. 



Chapter IX> 






In the last chapter I have tested the sincerity of the 
" quahfications of an Orangeman" by the touchstone of a 
single fadl, namely, the language habitually used by the brethren 
regarding Catholic persons, principles, and prac5tices, during the 
oratorical portion of the twelfth of July celebrations. The 
typical Orange demonstration is as Samson without his locks 
when it is shorn of what I have termed the theatrical display 
— the procession, with its accompaniment of party emblems 
and tunes, party cries, etc. 

No one who is acquainted with the past hundred years of 
Ulster history needs to be told that these demonstrations 
furnish, year after year, at least the occasion of many and 
serious breaches of the peace. In the course of the next two 
chapters abundant evidence will be adduced, chiefly of an 
official kind, to show that they are a chief means of keeping up 
that dangerous fever-heat of secftarian rancour which forms 
the chronic disease of the Orange portions of Ulster, and of 
them alone in all the land. The reasons which make these 
unnecessary displays not merely impolitic, but, in a sense, 
criminal, lie on the surface. They may be briefly stated thus : 

1. They commemorate events which took place in civil 
war, and which brought triumph and political and social 
ascendency to a small minority of the population ; defeat, 
humiliation, social and political degradation to the Catholic 

2. The methods of conducfting the celebrations are highly 
calculated to arouse secftarian feeling, to provoke resistance, and 
thus imperil the public peace. 

(a) Reference has been made in the last chapter to the 
always offensive and frequently inflammatory character of the 
platform attacks on the Catholic Church and its members. 



(b) Again, Orange anniversaries, processions, etc., have, as a 
matter of facft, been traditionally made the occasion of studied 
insult, menace, intimidation, outrage, and too often of strife 
which has at times almost reached the dimensions of civil war 
in portions of Ulster. The methods of these demonstrations 
and their results will form the subjecft of the two next 


" The society," says Lecky, " took its name from William 
of Orange, the conqueror of the Catholics."^ The Report of the 
Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Derry sectarian riots of 
i86g, says that these demonstrations are the commemoration 
of events that were a triumph for one side, " a bitter humilia- 
tion for the other." ^ Dr. James McKnight was an Ulster 
Presbyterian of light and leading, and an ardent admirer of the 
revolution which placed William of Orange upon the throne of 
England. In the course of his examination before the Derry 
Royal Commission of 1869, he said : " In the city of Derry and 
throughout the North of Ireland, every celebration of that 
kind, both historically and otherwise, is regarded by the 
conquered party as a triumph of the representatives of the 
opposite party over them."** "So far," he said, "as my 
knowledge, either of ancient or modern history extends, there 
is not, and has never been, any civilised State or Government 
under the sun, ancient or modern, in which the vicftory of any 
party over another in civil war was allowed, with the single 
exception of poor Ireland itself . . . No statesman who 
really understands the importance of national unity, and of 
keeping up what I call the living defences, would allow it."* 
Had such commemorations been permitted in England, the 
country, he added, " would not have been civilized from the 
days of William the Conquerer. The country would have 
been broken up into facStions, and never would have become a 
united nationality, as it now is. No community ever could, in 
any part of the world. Neither Greeks nor Romans ever 
tolerated the celebration of a civil war vi(51;ory, nor any other 
Government that I know of."* 

Judge Fletcher (a Protestant), in the course of his historic 
charge to the W^exford Grand Jury, in 1814,'' said : " Gentle- 
men, I do repeat that these are my sentiments, not merely as 

^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 427. 

"^Report, p. 15. 

^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5329. 

^3id., Q. 5327. 

^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5375. 

^This was re-published by the Irish Press Agency, London, in 1886. 



an individual, but as a man discharging his judicial duty. 
With these Orange associations I conned; all commemorations 
and processions, producing embittering recolledions, and in- 
fli(5ting wounds upon the feelings of otherg; and I do 
emphatically state it as my settled opinion that, until these 
associations are effecftually pulled down, and the arms taken 
from their hands, in vain will the North of Ireland expedl 
tranquility or peace." 

The Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the great 
Belfast riots of 1857, say in their Report: "The rules and 
proceedings of the Grand Lodge for the years 1855, 1856, and 
1857 we shortly refer to, as showing the nature of that organi- 
sation, and showing, we think, its evil tendencies as regards 
the peace and good feeling which ought to exist amongst the 
various classes of this country. It is an exclusive society of 
Protestants ; a leading feature of it seems to be to keep up a brother- 
hood to celebrate the triumph of their class over the Roman Catholics, 
called in their proceedings. Papists, . . . This strongly 
expressed feeling against so large a class of their fellow- 
countrymen seems a perilous bond of union for a virtually 
secret society, embracing within it so largely the uneducated 
classes of society."' The same Royal Commission condemns 
in its Report the "annual celebration of a festival which is used 
to remind one party of the triumph of their ancestors over 
those of the other, and to inculcate the feeling of Protestant 
superiority over their Roman Catholic neighbours, and we 
refer your Excellency to the sermon of Dr. Drew ... as 
a sample of such Orange teaching."^ " Unfortunately," con- 
tinue the same Royal Commissioners, " its celebration [that of 
the Revolution of 1688] is now regarded in the North of 
Ireland as the celebration of the triumph of one class over another, 
and the establishment of a Protestant ascendency. . . . As cele- 
brated, k is regarded as a studied insult by the Roman Catholics, 
and as a triumph by the Orangemen, and a declaration of their 
superiority over their Roman Catholic brethren."^ 

The Encyclopisdia Britannica^° says : " By repeating irritating 
watchwords, and publicly keeping anniversaries painful to 
their neighbours, Orangemen have done much to inflame 
sedarian animosity." 

The events commemorated by the Orange anniversaries 
are of too recent date to be forgotten by the bulk of the Irish 
people. In the Orange portions of Ulster the bitter memories 

''Report, pp. lo-ii. 

^Ibid., pp. 8-9. 

^Ibid., p. 9. 

^oNinth ed., art. "Orangemen." 



of persecution, degradation, and party ascendency are studi- 
ously kept alive by what an Irish Chief-Secretary termed "the 
annual specimen of civil war." The Royal Commissioners 
appointed to inquire into the great Derry secflarian riots of 
i86g, referring to the Catholics of that city, say in their Report 
that they were "all more or less acquainted with the history 
of events that cause them to look on the local anniversaries as 
offensive to themselves. Here, then," they continue, " we find 
the reason for the existence of increased discontent with these 

An inquiry into the nature of the triumph on the one side, 
and of the humiliation on the other, will enable the reader to 
estimate in some degree the feelings which the celebration of 
" the glorious twelfth" arouses in the minds of different 
secftions of the Irish people. 


To the Irish Orangeman and the Irish Catholic, the 
Revolution of 1688, the battle of the Boyne, the fall of 
Limerick, and the triumph of William of Orange, bring very 
different — even opposite — sets of memories. The successful 
rebel is ever, in the eyes of many, a hero. The rebels who 
fought under the Prince of Orange against King James were 
successful. The loyalist Irish Catholics who vainly fought for 
a worthless, but hereditary sovereign — "to whom," says 
Lecky, " all classes had sworn allegiance"^^ — suffered by the 
Revolution, as they had suffered by the Restoration; they 
were penalised for their fidelity to James as well as for their 
fidelity to Charles. They have, moreover, suffered ever since. 

The triumph which Orangemen celebrate did not consist in 
any commercial advantage that it brought to the country at 
large; for William III. did what lay in his power to ruin the 
Irish woollen trade and cripple the resources of the country.^" 
What the Orangemen set in the forefront, what they were long 
sworn to maintain — even at the cost of their loyalty to the 
throne" — what they still long to see revived, is the party 
ascendency which the Willianiite vicflory conferred on the 
triumphant minority. This ascendency placed in the hands 
of members of the favoured creed the three following huge 
monopolies : 

I. A pradtical monopoly of the lands of Ireland; 

^''■Report, p. 17. 

^"^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 141. 

^^English Statutes, 7 and 8 William III., c. 22 ; Irish Statutes, 10 William 
III., c. 5. Consult Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, pp. 34-37; and the 
present chap., infra. 

i*Cf. chap, v., 7iote 3, supra, p. 84, and chap, xv., infra. 



2. A monopoly in the making of the country's laws ; 

3. A monopoly of all public offices of honour and emolu- 
ment, civil and military, under the State, coupled with a 
monopoly of the learned professions. 

These privileges were secured to the dominant minority 

1. By the violation of the Treaty of Limerick; 

2. By the passing of the Irish Penal Code, the purpose 
of which was to degrade and brutalise the great bulk of the 
Irish people, and to crush out of their hearts every vestige of 
their ancient faith. 


The Treaty of Limerick, which closed the revolutionary 
war in Ireland, was signed in 1691 by the Lords Justices of 
Ireland, on behalf of the Crown, and ratified later on by 
William and Mary, under the Great Seal of England. ^^ "The 
stipulations of the Irish," says Lecky, " in favour of religious 
Hberty were given the very first place in the treaty that was 
signed."^'' The very first of the " Civil Articles of Limerick" 
guaranteed the Catholics of Ireland the free exercise of their 
reHgion, such as they had enjoyed in the reign of Charles IL, 
together with a promise of Acfts of Parliament to still further 
"preserve them from any disturbance on account of their said 
religion."" Article II. guaranteed the foUowers of King 
James the peaceful possession of their estates, etc., and the 
free exercise of their professions.^® Article IX. provided that 
the oath to be taken by Irish Roman Catholics should be the 
following oath of allegiance, ''and no other": "I, A. B., do 
sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear 
true allegiance to their Majesties King William and Queen 
Mary. So help me God." 

"Such a treaty," says Lecky, "was very reasonably 
regarded as a solemn charter guaranteeing the Irish Catholics 
against any further penalties or molestation on account of their 
religion. "^^ "The public faith," he adds, "was pledged to 
its observance."^" Yet, the treaty was shamefully violated by the 
wholesale confiscation of the property of Irish Catholics, and 
by the passing of the Penal Code. Lecky says: "The 
imposition upon the Irish Catholics, without any fresh 
provocation, of a mass of new and penal legislation 

isMcGee's Htst. Ireland, vol. ii., chap, x., p. 196; Lecky, Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 139. 
i^Lecky, ibid. 

i^Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, chap, v., p. 323. 
19 Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 139. 
"^^Ihid., p. 140. 


was a direcft violation of the plain meaning of the treaty."^ 
Walpole, another Protestant historian, refers to this great acfl 
of public treachery in the following terms : " The perjured 
Roman Senate, when their army had surrendered at the Cau- 
dine Pass, could hardly have surpassed the Irish Government 
in flagrant breach of faith. '"''^ 

This, then, is the first memory which the Orange anniver- 
saries of the Williamite vicftory bring to the minds of Irish 
Catholics. William III,, says Lecky, "is identified in Ireland 
with the humiliation of the Boyne, with the destrucftion of Irish 
trade, and with the broken treaty of Limerick. "^^ Another 
bitter memory recalled by Orange demonstrations is that of 
one of the chief results of the battle of the Boyne and the 
fall of Limerick : the long agony of suffering and wrong 
inflidfed on Irish Catholics by the penal laws. This fearful 
Code " began under William. "^^ Whatever may have been 
his personal ideas of religious toleration, he certainly " never 
offered any serious or determined opposition to the anti-Catholic 
laws which began in his reign. "^ This is all the more remark- 
able, since he possessed " the royal veto, which could have 
arrested any portion of the Penal Code."^® While exercising it 
in England, he failed to put it into execution as far as Ireland 
was concerned, even though he was bound to it by the solemn 
treaty to which he was himself a party. The penal laws 
passed during the reigns of William and Anne were, says 
Walpole, " of a charaifter quite unparalleled, and were in 
flagrant violation of the treaty of Limerick.'"-^'' 

A glance at the main provisions of the Irish Penal Code — 

^^Ibid., pp. 139-140. 

^"^KingdomoJ Ireland, chap, v., p. 324. Lecky blames the English Par- 
liament for its share in passing the Penal Laws, and violating the Treaty 
of Limerick. His grounds of censure are briefly as follow: (i) An English 
Adt of Parliament made the Irish Parliament exclusively Protestant. (2) 
The royal veto could have arrested part of the Penal Code, and did not. 
(3) Poynings' Ad placed the Irish Parliament completely at the mercy of 
the English. (4) No Irish Bill could be laid before the Irish Parliament 
until approved by the English Privy Council. (5) No Irish Bill could 
become law except in the precise form sanctioned by the English Privy 
Council. Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 145. 

^^Leaders 0/ Public Opinion, p. 120, 

^^Ireland m the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 141. 


^^Ibid., p. 145. Lecky says (p. 141) that William repeatedly "refused 
his assent to English [penal] Adts which he regarded as inimical to his 
authority.'- In his Leaders of Public Opinion (p. 120) he says: "The cease- 
less exertions of the extreme Protestant party have made him [William] 
far more odious in the eyes of the people than he deserves to be ; for he 
was personally far more tolerant than the majority of his contemporaries." 

''''Walpole, Kingdom 0/ Ireland, chap, vi., p. 332. 


the fruit of the Williamite vi(ftory — will enable the reader to 
enter to some extent into the feelings with which the celebra- 
tion of the "glorious revolution" and the "glorious twelfth" 
is viewed by Irish Catholics. This body of laws wasintended, 
says Walpole, " to stamp out the Roman Catholic religion 
altogether" in Ireland.^" It began in the Acfts of the seventh 
and ninth years of William III.; was still further elaborated 
in what the same Protestant writer terms the " savage A6is of 
the second and eighth years of Queen Anne ;"^^ and culminated 
in the A6i of the seventh year of King George II. These 
statutes, published in full, would make a fair-sized volume. 
Only the main provisions of this infamous Code shall be here set 
forth, in a highly condensed form, the reader being referred for 
more detailed information on the subjedl to the English and 
Irish Statutes of the different periods, and to the works of such 
Protestant writers as Hallam, Lecky, Walpole, Edmund 
Burke, Young, Godkin, Sydney Smith, etc."" The reader is 
requested to note the following features of the Irish Penal Code: 

1. The circumstances of its enadlment and continuance: 
It was inflicSfed not merely in defiance of treaty rights, but 
without provocation, and continued in spite of the loyalty of 
the Irish Catholic body during the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, 
and the disturbances of 1719, 1722, and 1725.''^ 

2. The prominent part which the spy and the informer 
were made to play in this sad drama of a nation's sufferings."^ 

3. The extreme severity of the penalties and other disabil- 
ities provided against the pracftice of the Catholic religion. 
The money fines alone represent, at the present day, sums 
many times greater than the number of pounds stated in the 

4. The nature of the bribes offered to the clergy, and to 
undutiful wives and children, to allure them into apostacy from 
the faith of their fathers. 

^^Ibid., p. 338. In 1795 King William assured the Irish Parliament 
that he was intent on the firm settlement of Ireland on a Protestant basis. 
Godkin, the Land War in Ireland, p. 236. 

'^'''Kingdom of Ireland, p. 33S. 

soLecky, Leaders of Public Opmioti. pp. 120. sqq.; Ireland in the Eighteenth 
Cetttury, vol. i., pp, 139, sqq.; Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland; Burke, Tract on 
the Popery Laws; Young, A Tour in Ireland, vol., ii. ; Hallam, Constitutional 
History: Scully, Statement of the Penal Laws: Sydney Smith, Peter Plymley's 
Letters (especially letter ix.); the same author's Ireland and England, and his 
review of Moore's Captain Rock; Cobbett's Reformation, chap, xv.; Mitchel's 
Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chaps, iv., x. See also Scully's Penal Laws; 
Beaumont's L'Irlande politique, sociale, et religieuse (Introdudlion historique); 
and Godkin's La7id War in Ireland, pp. 234, sqq. 

siLecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., pp. 139, 141-144. 

^'^Ibid., p. 152. 




The following provisions regarded the Irish Catholic 
clergy : 

• I. Banishment. — All unregistered Catholic clergy were 
ordered " to depart out of this kingdom before the first day of 
May, i6g8." This included all "archbishops, bishops, vicars- 
general, deans, Jesuits, monks, friars, and all other regular 
Popish clergy, and all Papists exercising ecclesiastical juris- 
didlion." The penalty for non-compliance was imprisonment 
without bail until such time as they could be transported 
beyond the seas. Any Popish archbishop, etc., as above, 
who came into the country after December 2g, 1697, was 
liable to twelve months' imprisonment and transportation beyond 
the seas. Those who, having been banished, returned to the 
country again, were to be "judged traytors," and to "suffer, 
lose, and forfeit, as in the case of high treason. "^^ The penalty 
was this: They were half hanged, disembowelled while still living, 
and then quartered. This, as Lecky truly observes, was "the 
most horrible form of death known to British law."^* A similar 
Act was passed in the reign of Queen Anne.^^ In 17 19 the 
exclusively Protestant Irish House of Commons passed a Bill 
ordering all unregistered priests found in Ireland to be branded 
on the cheek with a red-hot iron. This was ratified by the 
English ministry.'® 

2. Abjuration. — For a time registered clergymen were per- 
mitted, under very severe restricftions, to exercise a portion of 
their ministry. TheAdt for registering the Popish Clergy^'' pro- 
vides that " no Popish parish priest shall have any Popish 
curate or assistant." According to the Protestant Archbishop 
King, ^'■the design was that there should be no succession" of such 
registered priests.^^ The Adl of 8 Anne, c. 3, took even this 
small comfort from the people, as it required the clergy to 

339 William III., cap. i, sees. 1-3. 

^'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 164. A Bill brought in by 
the Irish Commons in 1723 requires all unregistered clergy to depart out 
of the Kingdom before March 25, 1724, unless they had previously taken 
the oath of Abjuration of Popery. The penalty was the same as for high 
treason. "By another clause," says Lecky (i., 164) "it was provided that 
all bishops, deans, monks, and vicars-general found in the country, should 
be liable to the same horrible fate, and in their case their abjuration oath was 
not admitted as an alternative.'^ The Bill contained other equally drastic 
provisions. Lecky says that "Mr. Froude warmly supports this attempted 
legislation" (p. 165, note). 

^^2 Anne, cap. 3. 

s^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., pp. 162-163. 

^''2 Anne, c. 7, sec 3 ; 8 Anne, c. 3, sec. 19. 

^^Letter to Sunderland, quoted by Lecky, op. cit., supra., p. 169, note. See 
Mant, Hist, of the Church of Ireland, ii., 212, and Swift's Works, viii., 367. 

177 L 


renounce the Catholic faith. Contrary to the articles of the 
Treaty of Limerick, it enacfted that, by March 25, 1710, all 
the registered priests in Ireland must take the oath of 
Abjuration of Popery, and subscribe the declaration against 
Transubstantiation. Failing compliance with this adt of 
apostacy from their faith, they were to suffer banishment for 
life. If they returned, the death penalty awaited them.'^ 

3. Suppression of religious houses. — Magistrates and mayors 
were ordered to suppress all friaries, etc., and to apprehend all 
unregistered clergy. Neglecft of this duty made them liable to 
be fined /"loo (a vast sum in those days), and to be disqualified 
from adting as magistrates for the remainder of their lives. ^° 
Half of the fine went to the informer. One of the Williamite 
A(fts, re-enad^ed in the reign of Queen Anne," forbids burial 
of the dead in any suppressed monastery, abbey, or convent, 
or in the precin(5ls thereof, under a penalty of ^10, half oj 
which went to the informer, such sum to be recoverable from any person 
present at such burial. 

4. Priest -hunting. — Informers were offered the following 
rewards for the "discovery" of Catholic ecclesiastics exer- 
cising the functions of their ministry in Ireland : For an 
archbishop, bishop, or vicar-general, £50; for each friar or 
unregistered priest, ;^20.^^ These rewards, says Lecky, "called 
a regular race of priest-hunters into existence."*^ Their opera- 
tions were facilitated by the two following provisions of the 
Penal Code: 

(a) Any two magistrates could compel any Catholic over 
eighteen years old to declare where and when he had last heard 
Mass, the name of the celebrant, and of the persons who were 
present at it, and the residence or hiding-place of any Popish 
ecclesiastic. Any Papist refusing to be sworn, or to give such 
information, was liable to be imprisoned for twelve months 
unless he paid a fine of £20.^^ 

(b) Any person relieving or harbouring an unregistered 
Catholic clergyman after May i, 1698, was subje(5t to the 

3 9(S Anne, cap. 3, sec. 22. The English Grand Lodge illegally adopted 
the declaration against Transubstantiation, when compelled by law to 
expunge the Orange oath from its printed rule-books. 

40,2 Anne, cap. 7. 

419 William III., c. i., sec. 6; 2 Anne, c. 7. 

42S Anne, c. 3., sec. 20. 

isLecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 161 ; cf. pp. 254, 
sqq. In 1719 the Irish (Protestant) House of Commons urged the magis- 
trates to greater adlivity in enforcing the penal laws, and passed a resolu- 
tion "that the prosecuting and informing against Papists was an honour- 
able service to the Government." Lecky, ibid., p. 162. 

44(S Anne, c. 3, sec. 21. Cf. Lecky, i., 161. 



following penalties : For the first offence a fine of £10 ; for 
the second, a fine of £\o ; for the third, forfeiture of all his 
lands, goods, and chattels — one-half (not to exceed /"loo) io go 
to the informer, the remainder to the Crown. ^^ This was one of 
the Williamite statutes. It was re-enadted in 2 Anne, c. 2. 

5. Conversion oi Protestants, or their reconciliation to the 
Catholic faith, was met by the following provisions : Any 
person inducing a Protestant to become a Catholic, or to be 
reconciled to the Church of Rome, and the person so reconciled 
or converted, were both made guilty of the crime oi prosmunire,*^ 
or contempt of the royal prerogative, as laid down in the 
Statute of 76th Richard II. The penalty for this high crime 
was imprisonment for life and forfeiture of all goods and 

6. Apostacy was encouraged among the persecuted Catholic 
priesthood by the offer of a bribe, namely, an annuity of ;^20 
(a large sum for those days.) This was later on raised to £2,0 
a year, and in both cases was to be levied off the county in 
which the priest had last resided.^'' 


7. If any Protestant woman, possessed of land to the value 
of ^500 or more, married any person without a certificate 
from a bishop, minister, or magistrate, that he was a " known 
Protestant," both she and her husband would forfeit their 
estates to the next Protestant heir. Any Protestant who 
married a Catholic, or permitted his children to be brought up 
as Catholics, was to be deemed a Papist, and to be subjecft to 
all the disabilities of a Papist. Anyone giving them in 
marriage was liable to a year's imprisonment and a fine of 
£io}^ In the timeof George I. Parliament passed an ACt to prevent 

457 William III., c, i., sec. 4. 

*^2 Anne, c. 6, sec. i. 

^''2 Anne, c. 7 ; 8 A)ine, c. 3, sec. 18. Readers will remember the 
encouragement given to this class, in their fall, by the Orange lodges, 
which despise and vilify them while they hold an honoured place in their 
ministry. See chap, viii., supra. 

*89 William III., c. 3, An Act to prevent Protestants intermarrying with 
Papists. Cf. Lecky, i., 152. Compare the rule of the Orange society (pp. 
96-97, supra) which makes "marrying a Papist" a matter for immediate 
expulsion. Howard's Popery Cases (p. 60) contain a judicial decision that 
a Papist or " a Protestant who intermarried with Papists was incapable of 
being a discoverer [of Popish clergy] , the Court holding that such a Pro- 
testant is a more odious Papist within the Adts than a real and adtual 
Papist by profession and principle." Howard's Popery Cases were compiled 
for the use of lawyers. By the A&. of 19 George II. c. 13, every marriage 
was legally invalid that was celebrated by a priest between two Catholics, 
one of whom had been a Catholic less than twelve months, and the priest 
performing such marriage was guilty of a felony. The statute 33 George 



marriages by degraded Clergymen and Popish Priests.*^ One of its pro- 
visions imposes the penalty of death without benefit of clergy on 
any priest convicted of marrying two persons either of whom 
was a Protestant.®" By virtue of a provision in an amending 
A(5t of the eighth year of Queen Anne any priest prosecuted 
for having celebrated such a marriage was deemed to be guilty 
" unless the said Popish priest shall produce a certificate of the 
minister of the parish where the parties so married resided, 
certifying that they were not of the Protestant religion."®^ By 
a subsequent A(ft of George II. all such marriages were 
declared null and void.®^ 

Such are a few of the memories which the annual cele- 
bration of the Boyne vidtory brings to the minds of Irish 
Catholics : the long and bitter war against their clergy and 
creed, which was inaugurated, in the face of a solemn treaty, 
after the triumph of the Prince of Orange. 


The laws against the Irish Catholic laity were of scarcely 
less ferocious a chara(51:er than those which affecfled the lives 
and liberties of the clergy. They ran mainly on the following 
lines : 

1. Restri(5tions as to the ownership of property, coupled 
with temporal allurements to apostacy which struck at the 
most sacred relations of social and domestic life. 

2. Restricftions as to the education, etc., of the children of 

3. Deprivation of all share in public representation ; 'the 
closing of public employment, of the learned professions, etc., 
to the Catholic majority in Ireland. 

I. Restridions as to property. — "The Penal Code," says 
Lecky, " as it was carried out, was inspired much less by 
fanaticism than by rapacity. ... It was intended to 
make them [the Catholics] poor, and to keep them poor, to 
crush in them every germ of enterprise, to degrade them into 

III. c. 27, removed the invalidating clause, but imposed the penalty of fine 
or imprisonment. Mr. Gladstone's Government in 1870 had this law 
repealed, and in 1871, by the statute 34-5 Vic. c. no, s. 38, made the Irish 
law praftically similar to the law as it is in England. For fuller informa- 
tion on^his subjeft, see the end of this chapter. 

^^72 George /., c. 3. 

sofn 1726 a Catholic priest, Rev. Timothy Ryan, was e.xecuted at 
Gallows Green, Limerick, for the offence mentioned above. Our Martyrs, 
Kev. D. Murphy, S.J., p. 69, note. 

518 Anne, c. 3, sec. 26. This Adt amends An Act to prevent the pitrther 
Groivth of Popery. 

^^19 George II., c. 13. 



a servile caste, who could never hope to rise to the level of 
their oppressors."^'' The restridtions as to property covered 
(a) the purchase, holding, or enjoyment of property ; (b) the 
devising or inheritance of property. 

[a) Catholics were made incapable of holding either 
direcftly, or through others in trust for them, any lands, tene- 
ments, rents, or annuities either for a life or lives or for any 
term of years. ^* They were also forbidden to buy any interest 
in land, either in their own name or in that of others, save by 
leasing. Every such lease was subjecft to these two conditions : 
(i) It should not be for more than 31 years; (2) the rent should 
not be less than two-thirds of the full annual value of the lattd,^^ 

What Walpole terms the " ferocious statute" of the eighth 
year of Queen Anne (c. 3) made it difficult, if not impossible, 
for friendly Protestants to hold land in secret trust for 
Catholics. A common informer could compel any person to 
discover such secret trusts. All issues of fadt were to be tried 
by a jury of " known Protestants." In the event of a decision 
in favour of the informer, he was at once entitled to the lands 
affected by the trust. ^^ " The whole country," says Lecky, "was 
soon filled with spies, endeavouring to appropriate the property 
of Catholics ; and Popish discoveries became a main business 
of the law courts."" No Catholic could hold a mortgage on 
land or receive an annuity chargeable on land.'® The lands of 
the Catholic Irish were confiscated to the extent of 1,060,792 
Irish acres.^^ Walpole, the Protestant historian, says : " So 
wholesale and complete had been the transfer of the land from 
the Roman Catholic proprietors to the Protestants, that at the 
beginning of the eighteenth century, when the era of summary 
confiscation by forfeiture may be said to close, the former [the 
Catholics] were the owners of less than one-seventh of the 
whole area of Ireland.""" 

In reply to an address by the English Lords and Commons, 
June 9, 1698, Xing' William said: " I shall do all that in me 

^'"^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 152. 

^^8 Anne, c. 3, sec. i. See Young's Tour in Ireland, vol. ii., p. 141; 
Godkin's Land War in Ireland, p. 237 

5^2 Anne, cap. 6, sec. 6, Godkin, loc. cit. 

^^8 Anne. c. 3, sec. 27. 

^''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p 152. 

^^2 Anne, cs.^ 6; 8Anne,c 3 

s^Walpole. Kingdom of Ireland, chap, v , pp. 326, 327. Godkin, The 
Land War in Ireland, p. 236. The Irish acre contains 7840 square yards, 
the English, 4840. The reader will recall the wholesale plunder and con- 
fiscation of the property of Catholics with which the Orange society was 
inaugurated. See chap, iv., supra, pp. 71, sqq. 

'"^ Kingdom of Ireland, p. 329; cf. Godkin, The Land War in Ireland, p. 


lies to discourage the woollen manufacfture in Ireland." This 
was, as Lecky says, " the main industry of Ireland." It was 
destroyed at one fell stroke by the Adt of 10 and 1 7 William III. 
cap. X., which was passed in 1699, and which prohibited the 
export of wool or woollens from Ireland to any country whatever, 
under penalty of forfeiture of ship and goods and a fine of 
;^500 for every such offence." " So ended," says Lecky, "the 
fairest promise Ireland had ever known of becoming a pros- 
perous and a happy country. The ruin was absolute and 
final, "^^ and fell upon Protestants and Catholics alike. The 
Williamite law deprived vast numbers of people, without 
warning, of the means of livelihood^among them some 42,000 
Protestant families, who, according to a contemporary authority, 
had been engaged in the woollen industry in Ireland."'^ Within 
two years from the passing of this Adt, 20,000 to 30,000 
workers in wool were reduced to beggary, and had to be 
supported at the public expense.''* Great numbers emigrated 
to the continent of Europe. Others fled to North America, 
where in due course their descendants took a leading part in 
the War of Independence.^ A promise made by William to 
encourage the small Irish linen and hempen trade was never 
fulfilled by him.''*' When, in the reign of Queen Anne, some 
very slight encouragement was given to the Irish flax and 
hempen industries. Catholics were to a great extent deprived 
of a share in the trifling boom. No Catholic was permitted to 
have more than two apprentices at a time, and these had to be 
indentured for a term of not less than seven years, under a penalty 
of ;^ioo, to be recoverable by the public prosecutor."' 

Catholics were forbidden by law to purchase or lease a 
house in the cities of Galway or Limerick, or their suburbs.^ 

siSwift McNeill, English Interference with Irish Industries (Cassell, 
1886), p. 33. Cf. Lecky, Inland in the Eighteenth Century, ed., 1S92, vol. i., 
p. 177. 

6 2Lecky, ibid. 

o^Ibid., p. 180. 

^^Ihtd., note (Hely Hutchinson's figures). 

«BArthur Dobbs, and Right Hon. Luke Gardiner, quoted by Swift 
McNeill, Irish Industries, pp. 58-61. See Godkin, The Land War in Ireland, 
pp. 249, sgg. 

fi^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. 1., pp. 178-179. "In 
spite of the compadt of 1698," says Lecky, "the hempen manufadlure was 
so discouraged that it positively ceased " (ibid., p. 179). "In 1700," says 
the same author, "the value of the whole export of Irish linen amounted 
to a little more than /■i4,ooo" (ibid., p. 178). 

872 Anne, c 3, sec. 37. 

688 Anne, c. 6, sec 23; 4 George I , c. 15, sec. i. They were likewise 
excluded from Bandon, Enniskillen, Belturbet, etc. Lecky, Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, i., 268-269 In Derry, the "nine o'clock bell," which 
formerly warned the Catholics to leave the walled portion of the city, 
continues to be rung to the present day. 



No Catholic was allowed to " have or keep in his possession, 
or in that of anyone else for him, any horse, gelding, or mare 
which shall be of the value of £^." Any Protestant was 
empowered to obtain a search-warrant, break open doors, etc., 
and, on tendering £^ to the owner or in his absence to the 
magistrate, was entitled to the possession of the hunter or 
carriage-horse belonging to a Catholic. Any Papist conceal- 
ing, or aiding to conceal, such horse, was liable to be sent to 
jail for three months, and to " forfeit treble the value of 
said horse. "^^ This was one of the Williamite laws. O'Conor, 
in his History of the Irish People (p. 209), gives an instance of 
the working of this Acft : " A Protestant walked up to a 
Catholic who rode a splendid horse on a racecourse, offered 
him ^5, and arrogantly ordered him to dismount. The gentle- 
man dismounted, drew out a pistol, and shot his horse through 
the brain." By secftions 4 and 18 of 2 George I. the horses of 
Papists might be seized and detained for ten days for the use 
of the militia. At the end of that time the authorities had the 
option of purchasing the animals at £^ each ; otherwise they 
returned them, provided the oivners paid the sum demanded for their 
seizure, removal and maintenance. 


[b) Wills and Inheritance. — The penal laws that regarded the 
devising and inheritance of property formed, says Lecky, " a 
gigantic system of bribery, intended to induce the Catholics to 
abandon or disguise their creed." Of all the subjecfts of the 
Crown, Catholics alone were, by law, incapacitated from either 
devising by will or inheriting by will. Few Catholic land- 
owners remained after the confiscations. At their death their 
estates were divided equally among their sons, unless the 
eldest son became a Protestant, in which case he inherited the 
whole.™ In this way Catholic landowners were either slowly 
but surely impoverished, or their estates passed into the 
hands of Protestants. In Lecky's words, " these measures 
. . . appear to have rankled more than any others in the 
minds of the Catholics, and they produced the bitterest and 
most pathetic complaints. The law I have cited, by which the 
eldest son of a Catholic, upon apostatising, became the heir- 
at-law to the whole estate of his father, reduced his father to 
the position of a mere life-tenant, and prevented him from 
selling, mortgaging, or otherwise disposing of it, is a 
typical measure of this class. In like manner a wife who 

6^7 William III., c. 5, sec. 20; 10 William III., cc. S, g; 2 Anne, c. 61 
8 Anne, c. i\ 2 George I., c. g; 6 George I., c. 10; 1 George II., c. g; 9 George 
II., c. 3; 15 and 16 George III., c. tjl.. 

'02 Anne, c. 6; 5 Anne, c. 3. 



apostatised was immediately freed from her husband's control, 
and the Chancellor was empowered to assign to her a certain 
proportion of her husband's property. If any child, hoivever 
young, professed to be a Protestant, it was at once taken 
from its father's care. The Chancellor, or the child itself if an 
adult, might compel the father to produce the title deeds of his 
estate, and declare on oath the value of his property ; 
and such a proportion as the Chancellor determined was given 
to the child." Children were thus set against their parents, 
and wives against their husbands, and jealousies, suspicions, 
and heart-burnings were introduced into the Catholic home. 
The undutiful wife, the rebellious and unnatural son, had only 
to add to their other crimes the guilt of a feigned conversion, 
in order to secure both impunity and reward, and to deprive 
those whom they had injured of the management and disposal 
of their property." '^ 

The Penal Code, continues the same Protestant writer, 
" blasted the prospecfts of the Catholic in all the struggles of 
adlive life. It cast its shadow over the inmost recesses of his 
home. It darkened the very last hour of his existence. No 
Catholic, as I have said, could be guardian to a child ; so the 
dying parent knew that his children must pass under the 
tutelage of Protestants."'^ What Lecky terms this "atroci- 
ously cruel" provision of 2 Anne, c. 6, sec. 4, diredled that the 
dying Catholic parent could not leave his children to the care 
of his wife or friends. " The Chancellor," says he, " was 
bound to provide them with a Protestant guardian, whose first 
duty was to bring them up in the Protestant creed." '^ The 
same A(ft made any Papist who a(fted as guardian of a child 
liable to a fine of ^^500.'^ 

Such were some of the diredt or indire(ft results which, in 
defiance of the Articles of Limerick, the Williamite vi(5tory 
brought to the Catholics of Ireland ; such the associations 
which the annual celebrations of that vidfory bring to the 
minds of the descendants of those who were made to feel the 
bitter brunt of that ferocious Code. 


" A second objecft of the penal laws," says Lecky, "was to 

''^Ibid. See Godkin, The Land War in Ireland, p. 237. The conform- 
ing wife also received a jointure out of the estate. 

''^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i , p, 153. Cf. Walpole, Kingdom 
of Ireland, ch. vi., pp. 338-339; Young's Tour in Ireland, vol. ii., sec. vii., 
(Bell and Sons' ed., 1892). 

■^ 3 Lecky, ibid., p. 154. The words of the sedtion are quoted in footnote 
on same page. 

''^Ibid., p. 154. 

''^2 Anne, c. 6, sec. 4. 



reduce the Catholics to a condition of the most extreme and 
brutal ignorance. . . . The legislation on the subjecft of 
Catholic education may be briefly described, for it amounted 
simply to universal, unqualified, and unlimited proscription."'^ 
Some of the most shocking of these laws were passed during 
the reign of William of Orange, who, by the exercise of the 
royal veto, could have at any time arrested this or any portion 
of the Penal Code. 

I. Laws against Catholic Teachers. — No Catholic was allowed 
to "mstrucfl a youth in learning," either " publicly or in private 
houses." The penalty for infringement of this Acft was a fine 
of £20 and imprisonment without bail or mamprize for three 
months for every such offence." The Acft of the eighth year 
of Queen Anne forbade Catholics to teach publicly or privately 
in any capacity, even as under-masters or assistants to a 
Protestant schoolmaster. Any Catholic found guilty of 
contravening this provision of the Adt was to be deemed "a 
Popish regular clergyman," and "to incur such penalties as 
any Popish regular convicft." Any Protestant found guilty of 
"entertaining" any such Catholic tutor was liable to a fine of 
^10, half of which went to the informer.'® 

A reward of ;^io was offered for such information as would 
lead to the apprehension and convicftion of "any Popish school- 
master, or any Papist teaching in private houses as tutor, 
usher, or assistant to any Protestant schoolmaster."'^ The 
professional priest-hunter was scarcely less eager on the scent 
of the Catholic schoolmaster than upon that of his higher 
priced but better-guarded quarry. 

In the seventh year of William III., the Irish Protestant 
Parliament passed An A6t to Restrain Foreign Education.^ It 
contained, among others, the following provisions : Any person 
who sent a child abroad, or went abroad, to be trained in the 
Catholic religion, suffered forfeiture of all real and personal 
estate, was incapacitated from acfting as guardian, executor, 
or administrator, from filling any public office, or from 
receiving any legacy or deed of gift. Any common informer could 
set the law in motion, and recover half the forfeiture, the other half 
going to the Crown. The burden of proof of innocence was cast on 
the accused. This provision was re-ena(fted by the 8 Anne, c. 3, 
sec. 20. The Charter Schools were established by the 

''^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. , p. 148. 

'''^7 William III., cap. 4, sec. 9. The Irish Orangemen showed their 
sympathy with this Wilhamite Adt by fiercely opposing Stanley's Irish 
Education Bill. See Killen's Eccles. Hist. Ireland, ii., 436. 

''^S Anne, c. 3, sec. 16. 

''^Ibid., sec. 20. 

807 William III., c. 4. 



Protestant Primate, Boulter, in 1733. "These schools," says 
Lecky, "which were supported by the public funds, were 
avowedly intended for bringing up the young as Protestants, 
to extirpate the religion of their parents. The alternative 
offered by law to the Catholics was that of absolute and com- 
pulsory ignorance, or of an education direcftly subversive of 
their faith." ^^ 


Public Representation, Public Employment, etc. — Referring to 
one of the earliest results of the Williamite vicflory, so 
sedulously commemorated by Orangemen, the Protestant 
historian, Walpole, writes : " The Government was now 
absolutely in the hands of the Protestant minority. . . . 
The English colony were the owners of nearly all the soil of 
the island ; monopolised every office of trust and emolument. "^^ 

The Williamite English Adf (J William and Mary, c. 2) 
imposed on the members of both Irish Houses of Parliament 
(contrary to the Articles of Limerick) the oath of Abjuration 
of Popery, and a declaration against Transubstantiation. 
Catholics were thus excluded from both the Irish House of 
Lords and the House of Commons.®^ Atheists were not 
excluded by the Adl. 

No Catholic was allowed to vote at Parliamentary or 
Municipal eledfions.®* 

^^Cf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteetith Century, vol. i., pp. 254, sqq. 
Killen says these schools were "essentially eleemosynary and proselytis- 
ing," and that Catholic children " were transplanted to schools faraway 
from their relations." Eccles. Hist. Ireland, ii., 248. The Charter Schools 
were largely endowed. They were carried on by the Incorporated Society, 
who, in 1749, secured the passing of what has been termed the Kidnapping 
Act, which constituted them guardians of all begging children, with power 
to commit and convey them to the Charter schools {The Endowed Schools 
Commission, by Dean West, pp. 18-19. Dublin : Hodges and Smith, 18S2). 
Howard, the great philanthropist, made a visit of inspeftion to all the 
Charter schools, in 1784, and published such an unfavourable report of 
them that the Insped:or-General of Prisons had an investigation made 
into their condition in 1786 and 1787. A Committee of Inquiry was 
appointed by the House of Commons, and they reported of the schools 
that " in many of the Charter schools, the clothing, cleanliness food, health 
and education of the children had been shamefully negiedted." John 
Wesley also gives a sad pidlure of the ragged and filthy condition of the 
children in the Ballinrobe Charter School in 1785. There were only three 
beds for fifteen boys, and five for nineteen girls, and, as far as he could 
discover they were taught "just nothing." Wesley's Journal, p. 816. See 
also Steven's Inquiry, pp. 35-58, 60, 107. 

^"^Kingdom of Ireland, chap, iv., pp. 331-332. 

s^7 William III., c. 21 ; 9 William III., c. 9; 2 Anne, c. 13; 6 Anne, c. 
II. Orangemen retained the declaration against Transubstantiation long 
after its administration had become illegal. See chap, vi., supra, p. 121. 

^^2 Anne, c. 6, sec. 24; 2 George /., c. 19, sec. 7; 7 George II., c. 9, 
sec. 7. Orangemen showed their sympathy with this measure by their 



No Catholic could hold any office, civil or military, under 
the Crown. He could not be governor, head, or fellow of a 
university ; nor barrister-at-law, attorney, or clerk in Chancery ; 
nor professor of law, medicine, or any other science.®^ This 
was another of the Williamite laws by which the treaty of 
Limerick was violated. Another Williamite Acft imposed a 
fine of ;^ioo on any Catholic who would dare to adl as 
solicitor in any court in the kingdom after the first of March, 
i6g8.*^ The fine was recoverable by any common informer. By this 
Adt, even if a Catholic barrister renounced his faith by taking 
the oath of Abjuration of Popery, etc., he was not permitted 
to pra(5tice, unless he educated his children in the Protestant faith. A 
supplemental A(5t of Queen Anne raised the penalty against 
Catholic barristers to ^200 f while another section of the 
same statute prevented any attorney from employing a Catholic 
clerk. The A(5l of the first year of George H. was more 
sweeping still : It prohibited anyone pradlising as an attorney, 
etc., unless he proved that he had been a Protestant for tzm years 
before applying to be called to the bar.^ 

Catholics, says Lecky, were "deprived of the elecftive 
suffrage, excluded from the corporations, from the magistracy, 
from the bar, from the bench, from the grand juries, and from 
the vestries. They could not be sheriffs or solicitors, or even 
gamekeepers or constables. They were forbidden to possess 
any arms ; two justices, or a mayor, or a sheriff, might at any 
time issue a search-warrant to break into their houses and 
ransack them for arms, and if a fowling-piece or a flask of 
powder was discovered, they were liable either to fine or im- 
prisonment, or to whipping and the pillory. . . In his own 
country the Catholic was only recognised by the law ' for 
repression and punishment.' The Lord Chancellor Bowes 
and the Chief Justice Robinson both distincftly laid down from 
the bench ' that the law does not suppose any such person to exist as 
an Irish Roman Catholic' "^^ 


Such were ihe main provisions of the Irish Penal Code. 

violent opposition to Parliamentary Reform and the Franchise Bill, as 
well as by their exclusion of Catholics from public life in Belfast and 
Derry. See their eledtion rules, chap, vii., supra, pp 135, sqq^. See also 
Appendix A. 

857 William III., c. 13; 2 Anne, c. 6, sec. 16. 

86i0 William III., c. 13. 

^''6 Anne, c. 6. 

*8i George II., c. 20, sec. i. 

^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 146. "The law did not 
suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic, nor could 
they breathe without the connivance of the Government." Bowes' words, 
quoted by Scully, Stateutciit of the Penal Laws, p. 328 



In the well-known words of Edmund Burke, " it was a com- 
plete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested 
and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise 
and elaborate contrivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, 
impoverishment, and degradation of a people, and the debase- 
ment in them of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from 
the perverted ingenuity of man." The Protestant historian, 
Walpole, says that the penal AcTts of the reigns of William and 
of Anne " were of a characfter quite unparalleled."^" Morrison 
Davidson, another Protestant writer, describes the WilHamite 
anti-Catholic laws, under summary heads, as a wai on 
property, " war on religion," " war on education," " war on 
marriage," and " war on commerce."''^ In his Land Way in 
Ireland (p. 236), the Protestant writer Godkin thus refers to 
that inhuman Code : " The plan adopted for degrading the 
Catholics, and reducing all to one plebeian level, was most 
ingenious. The ingenuity, indeed, may be said to be Satanic, 
for it debased its vi(ftims morally as well as socially and 
physically. It worked by means of treachery, covetousness, 
perfidy, and the perversion of all natural affecftion. The trail 
of the serpent was over the whole system." According to Lecky 
the Irish Penal Code "was intended to degrade and to 
impoverish, to destroy in its vicftims the spring and buoyancy 
of enterprise, to dig a deep chasm between Catholics and Pro- 
testants. These ends it fully attained. ... It was 
direcfted not against the few, but against the many. It was 
not the persecution of a secft, but the degradation of a nation. 
It was the instrument employed by a conquering race, sup- 
ported by a neighbouring Power, to crush to the dust the 
people among whom they were planted. "^^ In another work 
the same author writes : " It is impossible for any Irish Pro- 
testant, whose mind is not wholly perverted by religious 
bigotry, to look back without shame and indignation to the 
Penal Code."^^ Enlightened and liberal-minded Protestants 
deplore and condemn it quite as earnestly as Catholics do. 
But among those we cannot enumerate the members of the 
Orange society. 

" The penal laws against the Roman Catholics," says 
Lecky, " both in England and Ireland, were the immediate con- 
sequence of the Revolution.'-'^" There are two results of the 
Revolution in Ireland which have ever been dear to the hearts 

^^Ktngdom 0/ Ireland, chap, vi., p. 332. 
^''-Tlie Book of Erin, pp. 172-176. 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., pp. 169-170. See also 
foung's Tour in Ireland, vol. ii., sec. vii., pp. 59, sqq., 271. 
"^^ Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 124. 
^■^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i., p. 170. 


of Orangemen, and which it is the main duty of their society 
to celebrate. They are : 

1. The ascendency of their party, which was so ruthlessly 
exercised against the unhappy Catholics of Ireland ; 

2. The defeat of the Catholic party, the " immediate con- 
sequence" of which was the persecution, plunder, and social 
and political degradation of the overwhelming mass of the 
Irish people. 

Were it not for the anniversary celebrations of the Orange 
society, time would have mellowed the memory of those 
events, and the bitter feeling caused by close on a century of 
odious oppression would have, in due course, faded out of the 
Irish Catholic mind. Charity, patriotism, the spirit of religion, 
even the strong arm of British law, have all marked their 
stern disapprobation of those foolish and irritating displays of 
party vanity and setftarian hate. There are, however, certain 
circumstances which aggravate the folly of the Orange anni- 
versary celebrations. They are : 

1. The extreme ofFensiveness at all times, and, too 
frequently, the violent and sanguinary character, of these 
demonstrations. The Royal Commission appointed to inquire 
into the great Belfast riots of 1857, term the Orange celebra- 
tions "idle displays merely of offence. ^^" Orangemen, never- 
theless, continue to persevere in them, without even the 
pretence of necessity, and in spite of, or rather because of, the 
known ofFensiveness of such displays to Catholics. 

2. The Orange society was founded, and Orangemen long 
bound by oath, to maintain the hateful party ascendency that 
was inaugurated by the William ite vicftory. 

3. Orangemen have ever been, since 1795, the most violent 
and facftious opponents of Emancipation, Reform, the Educa- 
tion, Franchise, and Disestablishment Bills, and, generally, of 
every measure intended to extend to Catholics even a modicum 
of natural and political right. An English Protestant historian, 
Rev. W. Nassau Molesworth, writes of them as follows : " Every 
attempt made by English statesmen to apply to Ireland the 
most elementary principles of civil and religious liberty was 
encountered by these [Orange] societies with bitter hostility, 
and fresh insults on their Catholic compatriots."^'^ Hundreds 
of petitions were sent to Parliament by the Orange party 
against the Emancipation Bill, and their opposition to the 
repeal of the Penal Code soon reached a state of frenzy border- 
ing on open rebellion. " They were absolutely furious," says 
Molesworth, " and ready to ally themselves with any party 

^^ Report, p. 15. 

^^Hist. of England, vol. i., p. 378. 



who would assist them in defeating the measure and wrecking 
vengeance on its framers."^' The wise and witty Sydney Smith 
thus refers to the violent opposition of the Orange fa(5tion to 
the repeal of penal legislation against their Catholic fellow- 
countrymen : 

" In the name of Heaven, what are we to gain by suffering 
Ireland to be rode by that facStion which now predominates 
over it ? Why are we to endanger our own Church and State, 
not for 500,000 Episcopalians, but for ten or twelve great 
Orange families, who have been sucking the blood of that 
country for these hundred years last past ? And the folly of 
the Orangemen in playing this game themselves is almost as 
absurd as ours in playing it for them. They ought to have 
the sense to see that their business now is to keep quietly the 
lands and beeves of which the fathers of the Catholics were 
robbed in days of yore ; they must give to their descendants 
the sop of political power; by contending with them for names, 
they will lose realities, and be compelled to beg their potatoes 
in a foreign land, abhorred equally by the English who have 
witnessed their oppression, and by the Catholic Irish who 
have smarted under them."^® Elsewhere in his writings the 
same witty divine thus refers to the disloyal threats which the 
Orange party habitually utter against the Crown and the 
Government whenever there is a question of repealing a penal 
enadtment, or of enlarging the political rights of the Catholic 
body: " It is better to have four friends and one enemy than 
four enemies and one friend ; and the more violent the hatred 
of the Orangemen, the more certain the reconciliation of the 
Catholics. The disaffedtion of the Orangemen will be the 
Irish rainbow; when I see it I shall be sure that the storm is 

4. The same spirit endures in the lodges to this day. 
While the world has been moving on, Orangemen still clothe 
themselves in the fierce spirit of the penal days; still frighten 
themselves with the same old bogies; still speak the anti- 
quated language of the Williamite Code;'™ and — like a voice 

^''Ibid., p. 29. 

^^ Peter Plymley's Letters, Letter iii. 

^^Ibid., Letter ix. 

looOrangemen habitually use the offensive terms "Papist," ■' Popish," 
" Romish," and such-lilve theological slang. Elizabeth's Injunctions forbade 
the use of the word "Papist," as being offensive. Catholics, in the laws 
of her day, were termed "Recusants," or "persons in communion with 
the Church of Rome." In the days of William III., from 1692 onwards, 
and during the remainder of the penal times, the words "Papists," " Popish 
people," were used in the Statutes. The legal designation is now, and has 
long been, "Roman Catholics." Scully, Penal Laws, p. i. 



from the dead past — call, and ever call, for the imposition 
of legal disabilities against those who profess the Catholic 
creed. When we hear their " accredited organ," the Vidiorian 
Standard, refer in an editorial to " that fatal error, the 
Emancipation Act of 1829,"^"^ we can understand the force of 
the rhetorical question of Lord Palmerston: " Is it an organi- 
sation which belongs to the age in which we live?"^°^ To 
appreciate the value of the "equal civil and religious liberty," 
about which Orangemen talk so loudly as dating from the 
"glorious revolution," it is enough to remember that till 1870, 
it was a crime, punishable by two years' imprisonment, or by a fine of 
£500, for a Catholic priest to celebrate a marriage between Catholics, 
if one of the contvading party had not been a Catholic for fully twelve 
months. It cannot be urged that this was an obsolete penal 
statute. On the contrary, it was brought into force repeatedly. 
Several instances occur to m.y memory. The Rev. Patrick 
Campbell, Catholic curate of the Waterside, Derry, and sub- 
sequently professor of Theology in the Irish College, Paris, 
was brought up under this Adt before Judge Torrens, 
at the Derry Assizes, somewhere in the fifties. He was 
defended by Mr. Thomas O'Hagan (afterwards Lord 
O'Hagan), whose speech did much to rivet attention on the 
iniquity of this statute. In the sixties, the celebrated 
Yelverton trial focussed the world's attention upon this 
infamous law. Soon after the Yelverton case a priest of the 
diocese of Clagher was tried before Judge Hayes, at the Ennis- 
killen Assizes, for the crime of having married two Catholics. 
In April, 1866, Mr. Sergeant Armstrong, M.P. for Sligo, 
introduced a Bill to abolish the penalty ; but it was only in 
1870, when Mr. Gladstone was Premier, that the infamous 
law finally disappeared from the statute-book. Orange- 
men still carry on a bitter, energising, far-reaching, and 
generally secret crusade, not alone against the Catholic body, 
but against their noblest charitable movements, and against 
individual members of the hated creed. Many of my readers 
will recall the violent antagonism of the Irish brethren to the 
spread of Father Mathew's great temperance movement in 
Ulster ; their screaming harangues ; their anti-temperance 
riots, especially at Lurgan and Newtownhamilton ; and the 
resolution of the Loughgall Orange farmers not to employ any 
labourer who would dare to pledge himself to sobriety 
at the preaching of a Catholic priest.^"^ Their system 

10 ' Victorian Standard, May, 1893, p. 6, first column. 
^"2in his reply to a deputation of Ulster Orangemen, February 18, 
[858. See chapter xiv., infra. 

io3-\Y_ J. O'Neill Daunt, Eighty-five Years 0) Irish History, pp. 200-201 



of exclusive dealing loads the dice, to some extent, 
against Catholics engaged in business pursuits. On their plat- 
form, in their press, and in the secret of their lodges, they raise 
obje(ftions to the presence of Catholics in the Civil Service. ^°^ 
They use the franchise and the Ballot Acft as engines to keep 
Catholics out of Parliamentary and Municipal bodies. ^°^ To 
this day the two great Orange centres of Ulster prove how 
deeply the fraternity are in sympathy with many of the 
provisions of the Irish Penal Code — the Catholic majority of 
Derry, and the Catholic minority of Belfast having been 
almost to this hour systematically excluded from praiflically 
any share in offices of honour and emolument in the gift of 
the local public bodies.^"" The regrettable charadlier of the 
language constantly employed at Orange demonstrations has 
been sufficiently dealt with in the last chapter. The tenth, 
eleventh, thirteenth, and fourteenth chapters will serve to 
point out other well-known fadls and features of the Orange 
organisation, which contribute additional elements of offensive- 
ness to these unnecessary displays, and make them, in a way, 
as direcft incitements to riot and disorder as the gabled trailing 
of coat-tails at Donnybrook fair. 

The Cootehill Orangemen issued a manifesto against the Father Mathew's 
advent in Ulster: " Insuhed Protestants! will ye, can ye, bear it any 
longer?" etc. It called on the sons of William to "let not the anti- 
Christian apostle depart trom Cootehill in boasted triumph." Ibid. 

lo^See chap. viii. supra. 

lo^See chap, vii., p. 135, sqq. 

losgee Appendix A, infra. 



Chapter X* 


On the loth of July, 1836, a high-minded and distinguished 
EngHsh Protestant, Thomas Drummond, Under-Secretary for 
Ireland, said in the course of a letter to his mother : '* I am 
very busy with the arrangements for the 12th of July — the 
day on which the Orange demons walk. It is very difficult to 
allay their fiendish spirit." ^ He was preparing at the time for 
the illegal Orange processions which were to take place two 
days later throughout Ulster, in defiance of the provisions of 
the Party Processions A(5t of 1832. Processions, with their 
party emblems, party tunes and cries, etc., constitute what has 
been termed, in a previous chapter, the theatrical portion of 
the Orange demonstrations. To the average member of the 
lodge they are as the apple of his eye. The frue " sons of 
William" under the Southern Cross look forward to the day 
when the streets of our Australasian cities and towns may 
witness as brave a show as the brethren of the far North make 
each succeeding July in Derry or Belfast or Toronto. This 
phase of the Orange demonstration deserves attention, for the 
following reasons : 

(a) Because the methods adopted in these displays afford a 
good insight into the spirit and policy of the institution. 

(b) Because of the calamitous results which have followed 
in the wake of these processions, from the inception of 
Orangeism down to the present day. 

To estimate the effecft which the introdu<5tion of such 
processions would have upon the peace of the Australian 
colonies if Orangeism ever became a power in our midst, we 

^Thomas Drummond, by Barry O'Brien. Drummond was an ofl&cer of 
engineers on the Irish Ordnance Survey, 1824-1830. He knew Ireland 
well, having studied its people, its history, and its politics on the spot. 

193 M 


must first consider the part they have played in the history 
of Ulster, the cradle and home of the institution. The Orange 
portions of that province have long enjoyed the unenviable 
notoriety of being the only parts of Ireland where secftarian 
riots are chronic ; where violence, bloodshed, pillage, and 
wreckings are inflicfted upon the members of a religious 
denomination who are in a minority. There alone we witness 
what a former Chief Secretary for Ireland, Mr. Chichester 
Fortescue, termed "the annual specimen of civil war."* Ulster 
has the singular distincftion of being the only place in Ireland 
where Royal Commissions have sat to inquire into religious 
riots. It is to that province, and to it alone, that large bodies 
of police and military have to be drafted, at enormous expense 
to the ratepayers, when each circling year brings back its 
anniversary of the " glorious, pious, and immortal memory." 
"The I2th of July," says the Report of the Belfast Royal 
Commission of 1857, " has always brought with it its Orange 
gatherings, its party displays, its consequent riots." Mr. 
Chichester Fortescue, Chief Secretary for Ireland, in opposing 
the repeal of the Party Processions A(5l, July 12, 1870, said : 
" The strange (he was going to say the scandalous) specftacle 
still continued, that Government, at this time of day, should 
find it necessary, summer after summer, to send down a large 
force of military and police to a flourishing, happy, and pros- 
per.ous part of the country, for the purpose of keeping the peace 
between the two religious parties there."* 


What is the cause of all this ? Parliamentary Committees, 
Royal Commissions, Protestant statesmen, judges, etc., have, 
with singular unanimity, attributed this distressful state of 
Ulster to the party processions of the Orange institution. 
The Belfast News-Letter of July 13th, 181 3, speaks in condemna- 
tion of those "idle parades having enkindled those animosities 
and heartburnings which should have for ever sunk into 
oblivion." In 0(5lober, 1830, the Orange Grand Committee 
(DubHn) consulted the two eminent barristers, Mr. Sergeant 
Pennefather and Mr. Holmes, both of whom expressed their 
decided opinion that even then, before any Party Processions 
Acfl had been passed, " under existing circumstances, and the 
present state of the law. Orange processions are not only 
decidedly illegal, hit dangerous.'''* Mr. Stanley, in moving his 

2In the House of Commons, 14th March, 1870. Hansard of date, p. 

^Hansard, vol. cciii., Third Series, col. 166. 

4Given in Report of Parliamentary Select Committee (English) of 1835. 



Processions Acfl in 1832, said that the reason why it was 
directed against the Orange party was that they alone persevered 
in endeavouring to keep ahve religious animosity, which had 
led to so many fatal consequences.* Mr. Christie, whose 
testimony has been so often quoted in these pages, declared 
before the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 : " There scarcely 
has been a 12th of July, to the best of my recolledtion, in any 
year from the commencement of Orangeism [1795] till the 
present period [1835], when a breach of the peace has not 
occurred, and frequently lives hive been lost, in consequence 
of these processions."" William Stratton, an Ulster Protestant 
constable, examined before the Parliamentary Committee of 
1835, was of opinion that the country would be very quiet but 
for Orange processions and drum-beatings, which were the 
natural results of the institution, and which were calculated to 
give offence to Catholics. The Right Hon. the Earl of Caledon 
(a Protestant, and Lieutenant of Tyrone county) was asked by 
the Committee : " What is your lordship's opinion as to the 
effeifl of these processions, and drum-beatings, and party tunes, 
as it affecSts the peace of the country ?" Lord Caledon replied : 
" I think the processions are very mischievous."' In reply to 
another question, he declared that whatever would prevent 
party processions would be an advantage to the public peace.*^ 
Sir Frederick Stoven, Inspecftor-General of Police, and like- 
wise a Protestant, said before the same Committee that Orange 
processions and drum-beatings were calculated to insult 
Catholics,^ and that if Orangemen would only refrain from 
their processions, etc., religious dissension would cease in the 
community.'" Messrs. Richardson Bell, W. J. Handcock, J. P., 
Randall, Kernan, Captain Duff, and many other witnesses 
examined, all condemned the Orange society as promoting 
lawlessness and animosity, and leading to outrage and 

The Parliamentary Committee (English) of the House of 
Commons (1835), said in their Report: " The obvious tendency 
and effecSi: of the Orange society is to keep up an exclusive 
society in civil and military life, exciting one portion of the 
people against the other; to increase the rancour and animosity 
too often, unfortunately, existing between different religious 
persuasions ... by processions on particular days, attended 
with the insignia of the society, to excite to breaches of the 

^Pavl. Debates vol. xiii., p. 1035. 

^Minutes 0/ Evidence, Parliamentary Report of 1835, Qq. 5G00, 5634. 

Ubid.. Q. 5473. 

8/;«i.. Q. 5538; cf. Q. 5418. 

^Ibid., Q. 4651. 

^^Ibid., Qq. 4700, 4703. 



peace and to bloodshed," etc. The Edinburgh Review for 
January, 1886, commenting on the evidence brought before 
the Parhamentary Committees of the previous year, makes the 
following charge (among others) against the Orange society: 
" That, by its annual processions and commemorations of 
epochs of party triumph, it has exasperated and transmitted 
ancient feuds, which have led to riots, with loss of property and 

The Royal Commissioners appointed to inquire into the 
great Belfast riots of 1857 say in their Report: " The Orange 
system seems to us now to have no other practical result than 
as a means of keeping up the Orange festivals and celebrating 
them ; leading, as they do, to violence, outrage, religious animosities, 
hatred between classes, and too often bloodshed and loss of life. These 
opinions have been forced from us, and in giving them we feel 
a hope that when the kindly and generous minds belonging to 
the Orange society see the results attending their organisation — so 
different from what they intended — they will think that it is 
well to consider whether there is any controlling necessity to 
keep it alive, notwithstanding the evils that, unfortunately, attend its 
existence. '"'^'^ Elsewhere in their Report the Commissioners say 
that the "happening of outrages at that period [July 12] was 
a matter of usual occurrence, "^^ and add these emphatic words : 
" The celebration of that festival [July 12] by the Orange party in 
Belfast is plainly and unmistakably the originating cause of these 
riots." And again : " As long as this festival continues to be 
celebrated, it is essential, for the sake of peace and order, that 
the arm of the Executive Government in Belfast shall be 
strengthened, and a force kept up sufficient to at once put 
down outrage on all sides. "^^ In his evidence before the Derry 
Royal Commission of 1869, the distinguished Presbyterian 
journahst, Dr. James McKnight, said of the people of Ulster 
that " if their ill passions were not stirred up by those historic 
memories, and displays connecfled with them, they would live 
on perfecftly good terms."" 

Lord Chancellor Brady, in his noted document of Odtober 
6, 1857, o" Orange magistrates, declares that the party feeling 
so prevalent in Belfast was " excited on the recurrence of cer- 
tain anniversaries, which for years have been made the 
occasion of irritating demonstrations, too often attended by 
violations of the public peace, and dangerous, and sometimes 
fatal, conflicfts. The Orange society is mainly instrumental in 

^''■Report, p. 11. 

I'^Ibid., p. 8. 

^^Ibid., p. 9. 

^* Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5379. 



keeping up this excitement .... It is manifest that the 
existence of this society, and the conduct of many of those 
who belong to it, tend to keep up, through large distri(5ts of 
the North, a spirit of bitter and fadtious hostility among large 
classes of her Majesty's subjects, and to provoke violent ani- 
mosity and aggression. "^^ 

The Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 
Derry disturbances of 1883, said: "It must be admitted the 
professed aim of the Apprentice Boys' society involves some 
danger to the peace of Londonderry. "^"^ The Royal Commis- 
sion of Inquiry into the great Belfast riots of 1886 said in its 
Report that the Orange celebrations " are a fruitful cause of 
rioting and disturbance;" and they recommend the conferring 
on magistrates of a summary power to prevent all processions 
of a kind calculated to bring about a breach of the peace." 

i^The letter was published in the Northern Whig, Oftober, 1857. See 
chap, xiv., infra. 

'^^ Report, p. X. The Apprentice Boys of Derry are pradlically at one 
with the members of the Orange association. They have the same general 
organisation, the same aims and methods, the same deep and adlive hatred 
of their Catholic fellow-citizens. Large numbers of Orangemen join in 
their processions, and otherwise associate with them in furthering the pur- 
poses which the two associations — or, rather, the two phases of the same 
association — hold in common. The rules of the Apprentice Boys, and 
evidence of their intercourse with the Orange society, will be found in the 
Reports, Minutes of Evidence, and Appendices to Reports of the Derry Royal 
Commissions of 1869 and 1883. The history of Apprentice-Boy ism, like 
that of Orangeism, is stained with blood. The Reports of the Royal Com- 
missions held in Derry tell us only of a few crimes of the "Boys." The 
files of the Derry Journal (Catholic) and the Derry Standard (Presbyterian) 
supply what the Reports omit. I seledt the following typical proofs of the 
goodwill of the "Apprentices" to their Catholic fellow-citizens: (i) Loosen- 
ing large coping stones on the city wall, in anticipation of a torchlight pro- 
cession of Catholics passing underneath the same night. This occurred 
after an elecftion petition, which the presiding judge had decided in favour of 
Mr. Dowse, a liberal Protestant. (2) Placing a large vessel, filled with gun 
powder and broken bottles, on the route of a Catholic procession 17th March, 
1878, with a fuse attached, and the explosion timed for the procession passing. 
(3) Throwing a bomb through the window on the roof of a hall where 
Catholics were holding a ball, 17th March, 1879, with the result that a 
girl was maimed for life. The perpetrators of these outrages were, in each 
case, allowed to go scot free, the magistrates having made no attempt to 
bring them to justice. The contempt of the "Boys" for authority, both 
civil and ecclesiastical, has been very marked. The Government pro- 
hibited their demonstration i8th December, 1869, and proclaimed the city 
The "Apprentices," nevertheless, tried to carry out their customary pro- 
cession, and discharged ordnance from the tower of the Protestant Cathe- 
dral. The respedted Protestant Bishop of Derry, Dr. Higgin, forbade the 
display of party flags from his cathedral, 12th August, i860, when Catholics 
were so deeply roused over the Derrymacash murders the twelfth oi 
July previous. The "Boys" replaced with violence the flags which the 
courageous Bishop had ordered to be taken down. 

'^•'Report, p. 16 



An Orange testimony may not be amiss here. Mr. 
Johnston, of Ballykillbeg, said, in the debate on the repeal of 
the Party Processions Acfl in 1870, that he " did not maintain 
that Orange demonstrations were a means of preserving the 
peace." ^® When the Irish Grand lodge found that things had 
gone too far in 1830, in its address of 26th June of that year 
it recommended abstention, because " the public processions 
were likely to lead to a great loss of life, and prove injurious 
to the Orange association," and might, "in all likelihood, be 
made the groundwork of some legislative enacftment for the 
suppression of the Orange society. "^^ The Grand Lodge took 
no acflion in the matter until the very existence of the society 
was imperilled by the violence of its associates. 


There are three features in connecftion with the typical 
Orange processions, as carried out in Ulster, which, taken 
together, constitute a serious menace to public tranquility. 
They are : 

1. The gathering together of large bodies of men, chiefly 
of the lower orders, by command of the lodges. 

2. These bodies of people are usually wrought to a high 
pitch of excitement by inflammatory discourses. 

3. A portion of them, at least, are usually armed with 
deadly weapons. 

I. The Report of the Selecft Parliamentary Committee 
(English) of 1835 on Orange lodges says: "The power of 
calling out all lodges rests with the Grand Master and his 
Deputy, on the application of twelve members of the Grand 
Committee ; the same person, the Grand Master of Ireland 
and England, having the same powers, which are stated to be 
uncontrollable and arbitrary, of bringing together large bodies 
of armed aud unarmed men, to make a demonstration of 
physical force which might prove highly dangerous." During 
the early thirties, the correspondence of the Imperial Grand 
Lodge of London lingers frequently on the recognised Orange 
policy of physical force. -° I have already quoted Fairman's 
letter in point to the Duke of Gordon, Deputy Grand Master 
for Scotland,^^ and Deputy Grand Master Plunket's corres- 
pondence with Fairman.^'^ The Dublin University Magazine 

isHouse of Commons, 30th March, 1870. Hansard of date, col. 941. 
19 Appendix to Report of Pari. Committee, 1835. 

20See Fairman Letters in Report and Appendix; also, in Barry 
O'Brien's Thomas Drummond. 
2iSee p. 3, supra. 



(an Orange organ) for April, 1836, said: "The organisation 
of Orangeism was designed simply for the concentration of 
physical force. '"^^ The sixth of the Secret Articles of 1799 
bound every Orangeman to " appear in ten hours' warning."^^ 
According to the books of the Grand Lodge for June, 1835, 
large bodies of people had assembled in various parts of Ireland 
at the word of command, as many as 75,000 having come 
together at Hillsborough alone. ^ Reference has already been 
made to the vast numbers of Orangemen who were at the beck 
and call of the Imperial Grand Master in the thirties, "^^ and 
to the statements made in the Report of the English Seledl 
Committee as to how dangerous such a society " might 
become under possible circumstances of the country." The 
Royal Commission of 1869 refers in warning tones to the 
danger of " concentrating in Londonderry bodies of partisans 
from considerable distances."" 


2. The danger to the public peace from Orange processions 
is notably increased by the facft that the large masses of the 
lower orders of the people, brought together at these demon- 
strations, have their feelings wrought up to a fine fury against 
the Catholic body by what the Times terms the " inflammatory 
addresses of roving agitators."^® In the eighth chapter of this 
volume reference has been made to a peculiarly distressing 
feature of this bad business, namely : that the most delirious 
of those dangerous zealots are almost invariably clergymen, 
whose platform utterances are strangely inconsistent, not merely 
with their sacred calling, but with the elemental duty of loyal 
citizens. 'Twas ever thus, from the days of Rev. Mr. Mansell's 
fervid oratory in 1795. During the debate of March 23, 1835, 
on Orange lodges, Mr. Finn, M.P., quoted some remarkable 
extra(5ts from the inflammatory speeches of Rev. "Johnny" 
McCrea, Chaplain and laureate of the Irish Grand Lodge. In one 
of these speeches he pracflically urged the destru(ftion of the 
Catholic churches in Dublin city.^^ A peculiarly outrageous 

"^Quoted in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, p. 222. 

"^Appendix to Pari. Report, 1835. 

asparl. Report (English). 

2 6See p. 45, supra. 

'^''Report, p. 17. Considerable bodies of Orangemen from the country 
attended the procession held at Brunswick (Melbourne), July 19, 1S97. 

'^^Times, i6th August, 1870. 

29Rev. Mr. McCrea was enraged at the number of Catholic churches 
then being built in Dublin, and suggested, in the words of Knox, that "to 
banish the crows, they should pull down their nests." He pledged him- 
self to "raise such a spirit that no power in earth or in hell can resist it. 
Every Popish altar must be pulled down, every Popish priest must be banished 
. . . or fall a victim to the righteous indignation of the people," etc. 



attack of his on the Catholic body, in the Dubhn Royal 
Exchange (1835), so won the admiration of the Grand Lodge 
that they presented him with a service of plate. ^° Mr. James 
Sinclair, an Ulster Protestant magistrate, deposed before the 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835 that some clergymen — 
principally curates and recflors — of the Protestant Church, 
" very violently" encouraged party animosity between Catholics 
and Protestants, for their own ends.^^ Grand Chaplain Drew 
was another militant cleric, somewhat after the type of Rev. 
" Johnny" McCrea. The Belfast Riots Commissioners of 
1857 strongly condemn him for having preached a singularly 
acrimonious sermon " to a large congregation assembled for 
religious worship, containing denunciations of a large class of 
his fellow men."**^ The same Royal Commissioners likewise 
condemn the offensive and " disturbing placards" addressed to 
the Catholic body during the progress of the riots by Rev. Mr. 
Mcllwine, and the inflammatory utterances of Rev. H. Hanna 
to the excited Orange proletariat of Belfast. " Out of conflicft 
our rights arose," said Mr, Hanna, " and by conflidl: they ought 
to be maintained. "^^ Such language, to such people, at such 
a time and place, was as the dropping of a spark into a powder 
magazine. It had its acknowledged share in intensifying and 
prolonging the scenes of riot, plunder, bloodshed, and con- 
fusion which focussed the astonished eyes of British civilisation 
on Belfast in 1857. The Royal Commissioners of Inquiry 
throw serious blame on the intemperate utterances of one of 
the Orange clergy, but for whom, they say in their Report 
" matters might have easily passed off without further trouble." 
Readers of a still later period of Irish history will recall 
with a smile the bellicose utterances of reverend Orange 
orators during the Disestablishment agitation in 1868 and 1869; 
of Revs. Mr. Flanagan, W. H. Ferrar, T. Ellis, John Nash 
Griffin, H. Henderson, L. Canter, C. Maginnis, and a score of 
others whose names are lost to fame.**^ The fervid appeals 
made by another clergyman to the passions of an Orange 
audience at Rosslea (Monaghan), during the Home Rule agita- 

30Cf. Report of Irish Seledl Parliamentary Committee of 1835, Appen- 
dix X., p. 77. 

^^Minutes 0/ Evidence, Report of Pari. Committee, Qq. 5014, 5015. 

Si Report. The sermon referred to is given in Appendix to Report. 
Grand Chaplain Drew was the author of the tradt Twenty Reasons for being 
an Orangeman, referred to near the close of chap, viii., supra. 

^^IbicL, and Appendix. 

3*A highly entertaining series of extradts from the Orange speeches of 
that period— copied mostly from the chief Irish mouthpiece of the Orange 
party, the Daily Express— is given in The Orange Bogey, by J. J. Clancy, M.A., 
M.P. (Irish Press Agency publications. No. 2, 18S6). 


tion, will be readily recalled by those of my readers who are 
acquainted with the events of the period.^^ From the eighth 
chapter of this book the reader can form an idea of the spirit 
of fierce animosity towards Catholics which animates the 
Orange clergy in Australia. 


3. In a passage of his Personal Sketches, already quoted, Sir 
Jonah Barrington, who was an Orangeman as early as 1798, 
remarked that William of Orange ought to be a singularly 
proud ghost — so many heads having been broken in his honour. 
Orangemen contribute materially to this result by the offensive 
characfter of their demonstrations, and by their old-standing 
habit of carrying arms on the celebrationof their anniversaries. 
In the good old days of the Orange yeomanry their favourite 
weapons were the muskets and bayonets supplied them by the 
Government. Sir Frederick Stoven, Inspedtor-General of 
Police, declared to the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 that 
for the past ten years the yeomanry were " quite useless, and 
more than useless in my opinion ; I think they are dangerous. "^^ 
Other witnesses gave expression to the same opinion.^' The 
English Parliamentary Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges, 
on page xxvii. oiiheir Report, warn the Government of the urgent 
danger of large bodies of armed men being concentrated at a 
given spot, at the beck of a Master of a lodge, and call for the 
immediate suppression of the society. 

The idea oi gun-clubs originated with the Orangemen during 
the No-Popery fury which seized upon the Irish lodges after 
the passing of the Emancipation Bill in 1829. At the Armagh 
court-house, December 28, 1831, Viscount Mandeville spoke 
to the brethren there assembled, of the necessity of arming 
themselves to resist the encroachments of Popery. He added : 
" You have your watch and clock clubs ; why not have youv 
gun-clubs as well ?" Mr. W. Stratton, an Ulster Protestant 
police-constable, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Sele<5t 
Committee (Irish), diredlly attributes the formation of gun-clubs 
to this speech. ''^ At this time, said the same witness, there 
were no Catholic gun-clubs in existence. ^^ Sir F. Stoven was 
asked : " Are the majority of the gun-clubs Protestant ?" He 

•"*sThe Rev. orator made a violent attack on Mr. Biggar, M.P., and 
Home Rulers generally, amid Orange cries of "shoot Biggar," "shoot 
them," " we'll shoot them." Freeman's Journal, Odlober 17, 1883. 

^^Report, Minutes 0/ Evidence, Q. 4778. 

^''Ibid., Qq. 4211-4212, 7315-7317, 8799. At the time the yeomanry 
were nearly all Orangemen. See Qq. 4340, 4341, 4550, 5349, 5628-5630, 

ssMinutes of Evidence, Qq. 5189, sqq., 5218, 5235. 

^^Ibid., Qq. 5330-533i- 


replied: " As far as I have heard, they are. I have heard that 
a great number of the landlords of the highest class are encou- 
raging their tenantry to arm."^" Lord Gosford gave evidence 
before the Sele(5t Committee showing that these gun-clubs 
existed to an alarming extent in Ulster shortly after Lord 
Mandeville's speech at Armagh. 

Mr. Sinclair, an Ulster Protestant magistrate, testified as 
follows before the Parliamentary Selecft Committee of 1835:" 

"Who are more armed, the Catholics or the Orangemen? 
The Catholics are never armed with deadly weapons, 

" Are the Orangemen frequently armed? Yes, constantly." 

Before the same Committee, our old friend Mr. Christie, an 
Ulster Quaker, deposed that "the Orangemen always had 
muskets and side-arms and pistols."*^ 

A great number of firearms were distributed among the 
Orange processionists who, after the famine years, took part 
in the massacre of Catholics and the burning of their houses 
at Dolly's Brae. 

The Royal Commissioners appointed to inquire into the 
Derry disturbances of 1869 say in tfieir Report that, during 
these processions, " the disposition to use firearms becomes 
general. One of the witnesses said : ' Every person who can 
muster arms on that day carries them.' " During the debate on 
the repeal of the Party Processions Adl (30th March, 1870) Mr. 
Callan, M.P., a Louth man himself, living on the borders of 
Ulster, strongly objedled to the firing parties at Orange proces- 
sions.^* The Orange hero, Mr. Johnston, however, stoutly op- 
posed the insertion of a clause in the proposed Government Bill 
rendering it penal to carry firearms in a procession." In the 
south of Ireland, as Mr. M'Carthy Downing pointed out, no 
weapons are carried in processions.^^ Part of the Derry cele- 
brations consist of the firing of cannon from the bastion which 
overlooks the Catholic portion of the town.*'^ County Inspedlor 
Stafford (a Protestant) deposed before the Derry Royal Com- 
mission of 1869, that a number of cannon in the Apprentice 
Boys' gun-room on this bastion were in charge of a body of 
drunken men, and loaded with pounded jars, ready to be 

"^'Ibid., Q. 4545- 

*i/62^., Qq. 5055-5056. 

*'^Ihid.. Q. 3635. 

*^Hansard, vol. ii. of Session, p. 957. 

**Hansard, vol. ccii., Third Series, p. 1682 (July 7, 1870). 

*5Hansard, vol. ii. of Session, p. 954 (30th March, 1870). 

^^JReport, Derry Royal Commission of i86g, p. 10. Dr. James 
McKnight, in his evidence before trte Derry Royal Commission of 1869, 
strongly objedted to the seleftion of this portion of the city walls for the 
purpose of "firing in pradical triumph over the heads and houses of these 
people" [the Catholics]. Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5330. 



brought out to fire on the Catholic party passing underneath 
on the night of Mr. Dowse's return for the city, in Novem- 
ber, 1868." 

During the Home Rule agitation in the eighties, Irish 
Orangemen were, according to their organ, the Daily Express, 
recommended, when going to demonstrations and counter- 
demonstrations, to bring with them " their sweethearts and plenty 
of stuff'' — in plain English, revolvers and ammunition. ^^ At 
Lord Rossmore's reception, in Monaghan, in December, 1883, 
one of the prominent speakers made use of the following 
pregnant words : " Let there be no revolver pracftice. (Cheers.) 
His advice to them about revolvers was : Never to use a 
revolver except they were firing at someone. (Laughter and 
cheers.) Firing squibs in the air was nothing." ^^ On the 
i6th of OcStober, in the same year, a peaceable and 
legal meeting of Nationalists was held at Rosslea, in 
a parish where the Catholics numbered 4,394 out of a 
total population of 6,o6g. The Orange party organised 
a counter-demonstration, and came provided with an 
abundance of both "sweethearts" and "stuff." They as- 
sembled near the spot where the Nationalist meeting was in 
progress. Their organ, the Daily Express, of the following day 
describes how, at one part of the proceedings, " hundreds of 
revolvers were produced throughout the [Orange] gathering, 
and it is no exaggeration to say that the firing became general. 
For fully ten minutes it was steadily maintained, notwith- 
standing the efforts of the leaders to stop it."^° The Dublin 
Freeman's Journal of the same date states that the revolver 
practice of the Orange party was direcfed " towards the hill 
where the Nationalist meeting was being held." 

Mr. Trevelyan, Chief Secretary for Ireland, thus described, 
in the House of Commons, the Orange counter-demonstrations 
of the 8o's : " Unfortunately, however, the counter-demonstra- 
tions of the Orangemen were, to a great extent, demonstrations 
of bodies of armed vien. At their last meeting at Dromore sack- 
fuls of revolvers were left behind close to the place of meeting. The 
reason that they were so left was that a shrewd and energetic 
officer who was present was seen to search the Orangemen as 
they came along. The Orange meetings, therefore, were bodies 
of armed men, many of whom came prepared to use their arms ; some of 
them prepared to make a murderous attack upon the Nation- 

^"^ Minutes of Evidence, pp. 73, 74. 

^^Daily Express, November 6, 1883, in report of an Orange demonstra- 
tion held in Pettigo on the previous day. 
'^^Daily Express, December 8, 1883. 
^°Ibid., Odtober 17, 1883. 



alists. So far as the Government knew, it was not the custom 
of the Nationalists to go armed to their meetings until the bad 
example was set by the Orangemen." ^^ In connecflion with 
the death of the unfortunate Orange lad GifFen, who was shot 
during the riot, evidence was adduced to show that many of 
the brethren who attended this demonstration were paid 7s, 6d. 
each, besides receiving return tickets, and being supplied with 
revolvers. In 1884 the Master of the Dyan Lodge issued "A 
Scheme for the better Organisation of the Orange Society as a 
fighting Force." It was, in effecft, a revival of the gun club 
idea of 1831. He suggested the formation of a picked body of 
men, accustomed, where possible, to military discipline. They 
were to be armed with Snider rifles ; " the arms to be kept in 
a depot (the nearest Orange hall), or some sufficiently strong 
place to ensure their safety ; " the Districfl: Council to meet 
monthly, inspedt the weapons, "distribute ammunition," etc.^^ 

The carrying of deadly weapons has been, ever since 1795, 
and continues to be until the present day, a feature of Orange 
processions in Ireland. The D err y Journal oi ]\i\y 3, 1896, and 
the Dublin Freeman^s Journal report a tragic incident which 
resulted from the preparations for an L.O.L. demonstration in 
"ould Donegal." "The Orangemen of the districfl," says the 
first-named paper, "were arranging for a display through 
Mountcharles on the 12th." A number of the brethren went 
into the town of Donegal for the purpose of "making arrange- 
ments for the coming Orange celebrations." An important 
part of these "arrangements" seems to have consisted of 
loaded revolvers. One of these, through being incautiously 
handled, went off. The contents of one of the chambers 
shattered the hand of one of the fraternity, named Galbraith, 
and then lodged in the head of one Cassidy, Master of the 
Doorin-road lodge, killing him almost immediately. 

In the Orange procession there are, then, three elements, 
which, when combined, constitute a serious menace to public 
tranquility. These are : (a) A large assemblage of people, 
composed maiuly of the lower and less educated portion of the 
community ; ^^ (b) this assemblage of people usually aroused 
by inflammatory harangue to hatred or fury against their 

siHansard, vol. cclxxxiv., p. 383. 

'"^This "'fecheme" was published in the Freeman's Journal, with the 
writer's name given in full. Imperial Grand Master, the Earl of Ennis- 
killen, wrote to the same paper a letter bearing date January ist, 18S4, 
admitting that the document, in his opinion, contained "proposals of an 
illegal charadter," but adding that "the responsibility for the suggestions 
contained therein . . rests with its author." 

^^ Report, Belfast Royal Commission of 1857, pp. 8, 9. 



Catholic neighbours ; and (c) many of them carrying deadly 
weapons. * 


It requires but little knowledge of human nature to foretell 
the probable behaviour of such an assemblage under such 
circumstances. It will be sufficient to point out three direcft or 
indiredt results of their acflion, which should deserve the 
attention of every person who loves the reign of peace and 
good-will among men. These are : 

1. Holding of processions in defiance of the laws of the 
land, and of the forces of the Crown. 

2. Riot, bloodshed, destrucflion of property, and loss of life. 

3. The formation of counter-associations by Catholics in 

The two last-mentioned effecfts of Orange demonstrations 
will form the subjedt of the next chapter. 

I. We are all familiar with the way in which Orangemen 
boast of their loyalty to the Throne, and their undeviating 
fidelity and entire subjedtion to the law. Their acflions, in this 
as in other particulars, are a curious commentary on their 
professions. The Orange society has, down the course of its 
history, persisted in holding its processions after they had been 

(a) Condemned by Parliament ; 

(b) Declared illegal at common law, and forbidden by 
mayors, magistrates. Lords Lieutenant, etc, ; 

(c) Made doubly illegal by the Anti-processions Adts of 
1832, 1850, and i860. 

(a) The Parliamentary Debates of 1813, 1814, 1815, 1823, 
1824, and 1825 on the Orange society, arose mainly out of the 
outrages, uproar, and confusion attending L.O.L. demonstra= 
tions. In the debate of 2gth June, 1813, Canning said he 
" thought that it was consoling to refledt that ... no one 
had branched into any such anomaly as to stand up in defence 
of the innocence of the Orange institution, nor had anyone 
denied that those who entered into its full design were guilty 
of an attempt against the peace of the Empire." Similar 
condemnations were passed upon it in the following year (i8th 
July, 1814), during the debate on Sir Henry Parnell's notice 
of motion ; again on 4th July, 1815, when he moved for a 
Commission of Inquiry into Orangeism in the North of Ireland; 
and subsequently in the debates of 5th March, 1823, of 1824, 
and of the following year, when, principally because of the 
outrages attending its processions, the Irish institution was 
suppressed by Adt of Parliament.®^ 

^'^Journals of the House of Commons; History of Orangeism, by "M.P.", 
p. 182. 



{b) Orange processions were frequently declared illegal at 
common law. One of the weightiest of the pronouncements 
on the subjedl was uttered by Baron Dowse, a Protes- 
tant, at the Belfast Winter Assizes, December 4, 1883. It is 
reported as follows in the columns of the Daily Express, 
the chief organ of the Irish Orange party: 

" It was needless for him to tell them that illegal assem- 
blies were breaches of the common law. The law on the point 
was well settled. Nothing could be clearer or more distindt, 
but he was sorry to. say that many people seemed to be 
ignorant of it. Recently, as judge of the Exchequer Division, 
he had had an opportunity of considering that law in con- 
necftion with the Lord Chief Baron and his late 
brother, Baron Fitzgerald — who, he was glad to say, 
was only 'late' in the sense that he was no longer on 
the bench — and they had gone over the whole law in 
connedlion with illegal assemblies in this country. That 
was in the case of O'Kelly v. Rodolphus Harvey, in which 
the Court of Exchequer decided that the magistrate was justi- 
fied in the adtion he took, and he believed he was correcft in 
saying that the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal. 
He did not say there was anything important in that decision 
in his being a party to it himself, but it brought vividly before 
his mind the law as it was, and as it had been, and as he hoped 
it would continue to be. The law was laid down then by all the 
judges of the Court of Exchequer, assisted by the wisdom and 
experience of, probably, the most learned jurist that ever sat 
upon the bench — the late Baron Fitzgerald. The law was laid 
down in every book of authority on the subjecfl. In the well- 
known book of the late Justice Hayes, it was laid down in 
these terms: 'Any meeting of two or more persons, which, 
from its characfter, and the circumstances under which it is 
assembled, is likely, in the opinion of men of reasonable firm- 
ness and courage, to prove dangerous to the peace of the 
neighbourhood, or calculated to excite terror, alarm, or con- 
sternation, is an unlawful assembly.' Being an unlawful 
assembly, every one who takes part in it — not as an ordinary 
sped^ator, but every one who is a member of it — is guilty of 
taking part in an unlawful assembly, which is a misdemeanour 
at common law, and may be punished by fine or imprison- 

Neither the illegality of Orange processions in Ireland, nor 
the proclamations issued against them from time to time, 
seem to have exercised any restraining influence on the official 
conducft of the organisation which professes to place loyalty in 
the very forefront of its motives of acflion. This will appear from 



the following particulars, which have been taken more or less 
at random from among many such that appear in the Reports 
of the Parliamentary Seledt Committees of Inquiry into the 
Orange society :^* 

In 1819 the Orangemen of Liverpool held a procession 
in spite of a proclamation by the mayor and magistrates. 
Subscriptions were subsequently raised in the English lodges 
to prosecute the mayor and magistrates for having interrupted 
the processions in the interests of public peace. In 1829 the 
Marquis of Donegal and the magistrates of Belfast forbade the 
holding of Orange processions in that city. The brethren defied 
the prohibition, and walked in procession as usual. In conse- 
quence of the violence of the brethren at the Emancipation of 
the Catholics in 1829, processions were forbidden in the North 
of Ireland by proclamation of the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke 
of Northumberland. The proclamation was defied. On the 
13th July processions were held as usual, and the province of 
Ulster was from end to end one scene of bloodshed and con- 
fusion. In 1830 Grand Master the Duke of Cumberland had 
ordered processions. Orangemen in Ulster obeyed the Grand 
Master. The law was set at defiance all over the province. 
Sharman Crawford tried to stop one of those illegal displays. 
He and his forces were defeated by the armed brethren. At 
Maghery they defied the Riot Acfl, and later on (if my memory 
of the evidence serves me right) broke open a gaol and 
released the prisoners. The following year processions were 
again proclaimed, with the usual result : The official returns 
published by the police authorities^" showed that in the pro- 
vince of Ulster alone there were not fewer than fifty Orange 
processions, representing in each case attendances of from 
1,000 to 50,000 persons, headed and countenanced by Orange- 
men in high civil station and authority, as well as by members 
of the Irish Grand Lodge. The next year (1832) processions 
were held all over Ulster, headed occasionally by magistrates 
and by yeomanry officers (contrary to military regulations), 
as many as 8,000 to 9,000 men, with 40 bands and 250 
muskets, marching at Diuigannon under the leadership of one 
so high in the society as our old friend Lieutenant-Colonel 

The Quaker witness, Mr. Christie, testified before the 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835 that, when Orangemen were 

55See Reports, Appendices to Reports, and Afi«M<«s of Evidence, Qq. 3476, 
%qq., 3613, 4313, 4466, 4572-4580, 6088-6212, 7830, 8070, 8825, 8829-8833, etc 
Appendices C6, pp. 90-124. 

5 "In Appendix C4 a. to Parliamentary Report (Irish), pp. 98-99. 

'^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 7864 sqq. 



prosecuted and fined for marching in illegal processions, the 
fines were paid by coUecSlions taken up in the lodges, and that 
on one occasion the name of a County Down magistrate figured 
on a subscription list of this nature (Qq. 5674-6). According to 
the Report of the Parliamentary Committee of 1835, the Grand 
Lodge, at its meeting of February 29, 1832, voted ;^2o, and 
subsequently other sums to the amount of over ^125, for the 
defence of the lawbreakers.*® Sir Frederick Stoven, Inspecflor- 
General of Police, detailed before the Committee how his men 
had been hooted by the Orange processionists for having faith- 
fully performed their task, and that he had received the greatest 
resistance from Orangemen in the discharge of his duty.*' 
Captain Duff, another Protestant witness, gave similar 
evidence,^ and Lord Gosford deposed : " In the discharge of 
my duty as lieutenant of the county Armagh, I have found 
bodies of them [Orangemen] resist the law. . . I have found 
them resist the law, and refuse to obey the law as Orangemen." 

{c) Statute Law. — The Irish Orange Institution was, as 
stated, suppressed by K€i of Parliament in 1825, chiefly 
because of the riot, turmoil, and bloodshed that accompanied 
its annual processions. Orangemen defied the Adl of Sup- 
pression.^^ Lodges were kept open and processions held as 
before, and, says the Report of the English Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835, "the objec5fs and intentions of the law 
were thus frustrated." The Irish Grand Lodge defiantly 
declared, in its address to the Protestants of the Empire that 
the Orange institution could not be surpressed but by means 
which would subvert the Constitution of Great Britain.*^ 

Orange processions had hitherto been illegal at common law. 
Stanley's Processions A(5t of 1832 made them so by statute law 
as well. The brethren, however, frankly disregarded the Adf of 
Parliament. Grand Secretary Fairman, in his letter of August 
II, 1832, wrote that the Irish Orangemen were "determined 
to resist all attempts that shall be made by a Whig Ministry 
to interrupt their meetings or suspend their processions."*^' 
Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker, in a letter.given in Appendix to Irish 
Report, and dated " Carrick, Portadown, July 18, 1833," declared 
that if the Government would persist in enforcing this Atft, the 
brethren would have three processions where they had held 

5 8 Appendix 6 to Report. See chap, xiv., infra. Cf. Qq. 5674-5677. 
^"^ Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 3938, 4520, 4464 to 4490. 
''"'Ibid., Q. 4522. 

^'^Ibid., Q. 7063 ; also Report of Committee (English), p. vii. 
"^Appendix to Report of Seledl Committee. 

^^Fairman Letters in Appendix to Report of Seledt Committee (English), 
and in Barry O'Brien's Thomas Drummond. 



but one before. As a matter of ia.6i,the evidence brought before 
the ParHamentary Committee of 1835 proves that Orange 
processions were held just as before. On July 12, 1834, some 
3,000 turbulent Orangemen marched, in spite of the reading of 
the Riot Acft, to Portglenone, and other large bodies of the 
brethren at Stewartstown, Dungannon, and elsewhere.** These 
illegal demonstrations were countenanced by the Irish Grand 
Lodge. Under date November 12, 1834, it offers "its heart- 
felt thanks and congratulations to our brethren" who had 
paraded in their thousands " through the various parts of 
Ireland." ^ In the following July the illegal processions trebled 
the number of the previous year. Details of the fa(5ts thus far 
summarily stated will be found in the Minutes of Evidence taken 
by the Selecft Parliamentary Committees on Orange lodges. 
Several Orangemen were brought up before Judge Pennefather 
on serious charges arising out of one of these illegal and danger- 
ous displays. They were asked, on convicflion, to express 
regret for their conduct;. For reply they whistled " The Pro- 
testant Boys" in the dock, and were sentenced to three weeks' 

The same tale runs on from 1845 onwards. Orange pro- 
cessions, with their attendant disturbances, were kept up soon 
after the ghastly horrors of the famine years. In 1865 and 
the three following years the armed processionists violently 
opposed the forces of the Crown. A prominent place among 
the disorderly " loyalists " must be accorded to the notorious 
Killyman " Wreckers," who were stated to have been able to 
put into the field about 5,000 men.^' On the twelfth of July, 
1867, Deputy Grand Master Johnston led a long procession of 
Orangemen to Bangor, in defiance of the civil authorities.®* 
On this occasion the brethren carried 67 flags, were accom- 
panied by bands, and provided with firearms and ammunition, 
" in case the worst came to the worst." All this was contrary 
to the express provisions of the Party Processions Adl of i860. 
For his share in these proceedings Mr. Johnston was, with 
others, tried at the Down Assizes, February 28, 1868, and 
sentenced to a month's imprisonment. He at once became the 
idol of the lodges of Ulster. His portrait found an honoured 
place in almost every Orange home, along with that of the 
hero of the Boyne ; and, at the next ele(5\ions, he was returned 
to Parliament. In 1871 the Canadian Orangemen likewise 

^^Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 4466, 4572-4580 ; Appendices C. 6, pp. go-124. 
ssAppendix to Report of Seleft Committee (Irish), p. 77. 
6 6Hansard, Third Series, volume xxx., p. 292 ; Minutes of Evidence, Irish 
Report, Qq. 3561-3569. 

^''Hist. of Orangeism, by " M.P." 
^^Ibid., pp. 256-257. 

209 N 


defied the proclamations ot Government, marched in proces- 
sion through the streets, and resisted the pohce and miUtary, 
with the result that some thirty lives were immolated to the 
memory of William of Orange. Montreal was again and 
again the scene of such riots as people have long been 
accustomed to witness in the Orange centres of Ulster. 
From 1871 to 1878, every succeeding twelfth of July witnessed 
its scenes of bloodshed and confusion in the centres of Orange 
activity in Canada.^'' Deputy Grand Master Mr. Johnston, in 
moving the repeal of the Party Processions A6i on March 30, 
1870, said: "The effecft of the continuance of this Adt has 
been to double the number of processions. It excited the feelings of 
the Orangemen ; its technicalities zvere evaded, and the demonstra- 
tions went on all the same.'"''° He added that " outrage and 
bloodshed had prevailed in Canada while an Adt similar to 
this was on the Statute Book."" The Times of July 14, 1870, 
describes how a monster procession of 30,000 to 50,000 
Orangemen took place at Lisburn, with banners and sashes 
displayed all along the route, in defiance of the Party 
Processions Acfl. According to the newspaper reports of the 
time, a leading spirit in these proceedings was our old 
friend, Mr. Johnston, M.P. In the course of his speech on the 
occasion, he commended the Apprentice Boys of Derry for 
having "refused, at the bidding of any man or any Government," 
to give up their party displays.'^ It is needless to further 
multiply instances of the brethren's disregard of A6ts of Parlia- 
ment, and of the forces of the Crown, on the occasion of their 
anniversary celebrations. 

The events connecfted with the celebration of Orange anni- 
versaries in Australia go to show that the Australian lodges 
are true to the traditions of the parent society in Ulster. This 
is especially true of Vicftoria, where, from 1894 to 1897, P'^o- 
cessions have been held at which not alone were the society's 
regalia worn, but party banners were displayed, or deadly 
weapons carried, or party tunes played, in defiance of the most 
generous interpretation ever put upon the local Party Proces- 
sions Acft.'^ The society is beginning to feel the strength of 

^^Ibid., p. 260. Cf. Chambers' Encyclo., Art. "Orangemen." 

■^ "Hansard, vol. ii. of Session, p. 940. 


'2This speech was reported in the Times, from which this extrad has 
been taken. ' 

■^^For instance, at Ararat (Vidoria), in 1894; at Walhalla and Prahran 
(Melbourne) in 1897. See Ararat Advertiser, Walhalla Chronicle (July 2. 
1897), and Melbourne Argus and Age of June 28, 1897. The Crown 
Solicitor for Vidtoria, Mr. Finlayson, gave it as his opinion that Orange 
processions are unlawful in the colony, if arms are carried, or party banners 



its pinions, and has been essaying its trial flights against the 
law. Judging by the experience of Ulster and of Canada, we 
may not unfairly assume that, should the brethren ever attain 
to sufficient physical force of numbers in Austraha, they will 
here also raise their heads against the representatives of law and 
order, and set at calm defiance statutes intended to spare the 
country the pernicious results of those unnecessary displays 
which are, which are known to be, and which, as we have 
likewise seen, are intended to be, highly offensive to the most 
cherished feeUngs of a large sedlion of the community. Enough 
has, however, been said to show that the steady policy of the 
lodge has ever been, and still is, defiance of the law, and even 
armed opposition to it, from the moment that it stands in the 
way of those criminally foolish displays which make the Orange 
portions of Ulster a warning specStacle to the English-speaking 

displayed, or party tunes played, but not otherwise. This opinion has 
been received with much surprise, and has met with strong dissent. Mr. 
Box and other eminent counsel declare that such processions are unlawful 
assemblies even if Orange regalia are worn. 'M.eVbovLvne Age, Argus, and 
Herald, July i6 and 17, 1897. As these pages go through the press the 
daily papers announce that the legality of such processions is to be tested. 
A. riot was reported from Coolgardie in the gold-land. It arose out of an 
Orange procession, with its usual display of offensive party emblems. 
Ararat Advertiser, ]u]y 13, 1S97. 



Chapter XL 


In the Orange processions that take place in Ulster we have 
two sets of opposing forces brought face to face, namely : 

1. The Orange party ; 

2. The Catholic party. 

1. The Orange Party. — (a) The 'Orange processionists cele- 
brate, in the midst of a Catholic population, a triumph of their 
party over the Catholics ; (b) they are usually excited to a high 
pitch of animosity against Catholics, partly by old traditions of 
strife and mutual reprisals, partly by the violent No-Popery 
literature of the lodges, but chiefly through the intemperate 
harangues of their leaders ; (c) many, if not all of them, bear 
deadly weapons about them. 

2. The Catholic Party. — These processions and other public 
displays of the Orange society are, and are publicly known to 
be, irritating to the Catholic party, 

(a) Because of the offensive speeches and sermons delivered 
on sue. I occasions ; 

(b) Because of the associations which they bring to the 
minds of Catholics : namely, the ascendency of an intolerant 
minority, a long and bitter religious persecution, the political 
annihilation and social degradation of the members of their 
creed, and that, too, till a comparatively recent period of 

(c) Because of the methods which have been traditionally 
adopted to enhance the triumph of the Orange party: namely, 
the display of party emblems, the playing of party tunes, the 
utteringof offensive party cries, intimidation, violence, outrage, 
and bloodshed. I think it is the Philosopher of the Sandwich 
Islands who says that there is a great deal of human nature in 
the average man. Now it requires but little knowledge of 
the average man to foresee the results which will ensue when 



two large and opposing forces of excited citizens are brought 
together under circumstances of this kind. From a perusal of 
the last chapter the reader has gained an idea of the extent to 
which Orange processionists flouted the symbol of constituted 
authority, defied the Executive of the country, resisted the 
forces of the Crown. It is, a priori, unlikely that their 
demeanour would be milder or more gentle towards their 
Catholic fellow-citizens, against whom their passions are 
inflamed, and to celebrate their triumph over whom these 
processions are primarily intended. 

Lord Camden (Viceroy of Ireland, and, of course, a Pro- 
testant), said that, though not aimed against the Government, 
he regarded the Orange combination " as more dangerous 
than diredt conspiracy." They "justly irritated the Catholics," 
said he, " and gave a pretence to the disaffedted."^ The Royal 
Commission of Inquiry into the great Belfast riots of 1857 
says in its Report : " Hitherto we find by the evidence that, 
except in the month of July, the inhabitants of these distridts'^ have 
met in peace ; in business there were ordinarily no distindtions 
made, and Protestants, Catholics, and Orangemen lived 
together in friendship. The feeling which leads to the 
separation of these districts in July is merely a class feeling — 
it is a feeling of dominancy and insult on the one side, and of oppo- 
sition to its display on the other^^ " Lord Enniskillen,"* the 
same Report continues, " no doubt condemns the violence and 
outward manifestation of insult to the Roman Catholics 
exhibited by the Sandy-row [Orange] mob, yet it is seen that 
they are diredtly the effeCts on vulgar minds of the celebrations that are 
kept alive and in offensive activity by the Orange society."^ 

I have, in previous chapters, detailed the offensive and 
inflammatory character of the speeches made at Orang.- 
demonstrations, as well as the nature of the historic associa- 
tions which impart an added sting to the celebration of these 
anniversaries. It only remains to point out certain features of 
these displays, which are intended to heighten the triumph of 
the one side, and to aggravate its ofFensiveness to the other. 
These are the display of party colours and emblems, the 

^Letter to Portland, 6th August, 1796, in Froude's English in Ireland, 
vol. iii., p. 197. 

2The Pound and Sandy-row distrid : The Pound distrid, in Belfast, 
is mostly inhabited by Catholics; tht Sandy-row distridt is the great 
Orange quarter. They adjoin each other. {Report, p. 2). 

^Report, p. 2. 

*The Orange Grand Master. 

^Report, p. II. See also evidence of Dr. James McKnight, in chapter 
X., supra. 



playing of party tunes, the uttering of party cries, acfls of 
intimidation, violence, outrage, etc. 


Mr. Thomas McKnight, an Ulster Protestant, whose 
sympathies are by no means with the Catholic party, says of 
the Orangemen in a recent work : " In comparison with the 
liberty to walk in processions with fifes, drums and banners 
. . . they cared little for ' our Protestant institutions,' and 
for a professedly Conservative Government."^ The party 
tunes played at these processions include such as " Croppies 
Lie Down," " We'll Kick the Pope Before Us," " The Boyne 
Water," " The Protestant Boys," " The Protestant Drum," 
" More Holy Water," etc.'' Mr. Handcock, an Ulster Pro- 
testant magistrate, was asked by the Parliamentary Selecft 
Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges : 

" Are those tunes deemed offensive by the Catholics, and 
evidently intended to give offence to them, by the party who play the 
tunes ?" " Certainly they are,'' was the witness's reply. ^ 
Evidence to the same effecft was given by the well-known 
Presbyterian journalist. Dr. James McKnight, before the Royal 
Commission of Inquiry into the Derry riots of i86g. This 
distinguished witness declared that he was " decidedly" in 
favour of prohibiting at demonstrations all band-playing which 
would "give offence to the other side."^ 

These party tunes are usually, in Ulster, either played on 
fifes, or are rapped out in conventional fashion on drums. 
According to Mr. Saunderson, a Protestant Ulster M.P., the 
drum-beating is meant to be offensive to Catholics. An 
Orangeman told him that they practised it " because those 
large drums drove terror into the Papists."^" Sir Frederick 
Stoven testified before the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 
that these drum-beatings and processions were calculated to 
insult Catholics." Mr. James Sinclair, J. P., Mr. Stratton (a 
police-constable), and many other Protestants, gave similar 
testimony. The Belfast Royal Commission of 1886 fully 
recognises the offensive charadter of those party tunes, and 

^Ulster as it is; or. Twenty-eight Years' Experience as an Irish Editor. 
Macmillan; 1896. 

'See article on "The Orange Society," in The Contemporary Review for 
August, 1896, p. 224. "Croppy" is an offensive term still applied bv 
Orangemen to Catholics. For the origin of the word, see Lecky's Ireland 
in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 272. 

^Minutes of Evidence. Qq. 5698, 7973. 

^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5370. 

loRansard, 3rd Series, vol. cc , p. 960. 

1^ Minutes 0/ Evidence, Q. 4651-4654, 4657. 



recommends either the complete prohibition, or the severest 
regulation, of bands likely to play them.^^ A common cry at 
Orange processions is : " No Pope, no priests, no holy water!" 
The traditional and favourite cry is : " To Hell with the 
Pope!" The Report o( the Selecfl Committee on the Belfast 
Corporation Bill of 1896 shows that this expression is in 
constant use in the head-centre of Orangeism to the present 
day.^^ Grand Master the Earl of Enniskillen deposed before 
the Belfast Royal Commission of 1857 that he never knew of 
a case in which an Orangeman was expelled from the society 
for having uttered this offensive party watchword." It is 
needless to point out that the playing of such tunes and the 
utterance of such cries must be a source of galling insult to 
Catholics, and doubly so when we consider the deep attach- 
ment and veneration of the Irish people for the visible head of 
their Church on earth. 

The Orange emblems most in use in Ireland are sashes, 
flags, lillies, ribbons, handkerchiefs, etc. In Australia wattle- 
blossom, yellow ribbons, handkerchiefs, etc., are displayed. 
Yellow chrysanthemums are frequently substituted for the 
Orange lily, which at the Antipodes refuses to disclose its 
spotted petals in July. 

' National and party emblems are as purely conventional 
signs as the handshake of friends, the Queen's crown, the 
judge's wig, the mourner's band of crape. But they enter far 
more intimately into public life and feeling, than the conven- 
tions that are purely social. They place before the eye, in 
concrete form, the traditions, associations, aspirations, triumphs 
of a nation, party, or society, written in a shorthand which the 
most illiterate has learned to read. Such emblems as flags, 
brazen eagles, crescents, Phrygian caps, the white cockades of 
the Stuarts and Bourbons, etc., have been the rallying points 
of regiments, parties, and'nations. The records of history show 
that they are highly capable of exciting in the popular breast 
the passions of enthusiastic love or hate. At Fort Sumter a 
shot is fired at a piece of canvas covered with stars and 
stripes. The acfl is indignantly resented as an outrage on a 
nation's honour, and leads to the greatest civil war of the 
nineteenth century. Another shot fired at another canvas 
emblem in a South American forest leads to a diplomatic 
difficulty, and brings England and Venezuela to the verge of 
war. The historians of the Peninsular, Crimean, and Franco- 
German wars tell with pride how soldiers died to save their 

^^ Report, Appendix F2. 

^'•^Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 5559, 6354, 6357, 6359. 

i4/Z)/rf., Q. 860=;. 



regimental colours. And men have been prepared to follow 
and die for such incongruous party emblems as a leather 
apron, and an old shoe tied upon a staff. 

^Emblems are not less powerful to excite hate than love. 
Through a long and stormy epoch of English history, the 
Lancastrians hated the white rose of York, just as cordially as 
those of York detested the red rose of Lancaster, and the 
display of either emblem often stained the streets with citizens' 
blood. The Bourbon lillies were as hateful to the Sansculottes 
as the Phrygian cap to the fallen aristocrats. The Greeks 
hated the crescent flag that floated so long over the Acropolis ; 
Orangemen hate the Pope's tiara and crossed keys ; British 
naval officers were roused to indignation, and British sailors to 
fury, by the sight of a broom lashed to the masthead of 
Admiral Van Trompfs flagship. In the same way, Irish 
Catholics objecft to the display of certain emblems at Orange 
anniversaries. The objecflion is not a capricious one, direcfted 
against the mere material emblems in thepKelves. It is 
grounded on the associations which they bring, and are intended 
to bring, to the minds of Catholics : memories of the triumph 
of an intolerant minority, memories of the political ruin, social 
degradation, bitter persecution, and humiliation of five-sixths 
of the population of the land of their hearts' love. The display 
of emblems and colours, and the other features of the typical 
L.O.L. demonstration, are, as the Belfast Royal Commission 
of 1857 says, "regarded as a studied insult by the Roman 
Catholics, and as a triumph by the Orangemen, and a declara- 
tion of their superiority over their Roman Catholic brethren."" 

^^Report, p. 9. See beginning of chapter x., supra. There is only one 
party colour known in Ireland, namely, orange. Green is the national colour, 
and is officially recognised as such. It appears on the uniform of the Irish 
regiments, and, if my memory serves me right, forms part of the colour 
scheme in the ceiling of the House of Commons. Grand Master the Earl 
of Enniskillen, admitted before the Belfast Royal Commission of 1857 that 
green was the national, and not a party colour (I quote from memory). 
During the debate on the proposed repeal of the Party Processions Ad in 
1870, Mr. W. Verner, one of the officers of the Irish Grand Lodge, said in 
the House of Commons, "he was not disposed to view the green as a party 
colour, for he had often worn the shamrock [the Irish national emblem] 
on the 17th March, in order to show that he was not ashamed of his 
nationality." Hansard, vol. cc. (second vol. of Session, 1870), p. 947. He 
added that he was "an upholder of the principles of the Orange society" 
(ibid.). The Williamite army wore emblems of the national colour in their 
hats when crossing the Boyne in 1690. " Every soldier," says Macaulay, 
"was to put a green bough in his hat." Hist, of England, vol. iii., p. 629. 
McCann, in his Battle of the Boyne, says that William's soldiers, as tbey 
crossed, were "almost hidden beneath flashing arms and green boughs" 
(quoted in Sullivan's Story of Ireland, chap. Ixv., p. 419). Each of James's 
French and Irish troops, according to Macaulay, "had a white badge in 



Such displays are justified by no plea of necessity or utility. 
They are simply offensive, and are meant as such. We have 
seen in the last chapter how they stand condemned by the 
almost unanimous voice of British Protestant statesmanship 
as inimical to the cause of loyalty and peace. 

Grand Master the Earl of Enniskillen, in his evidence 
before the Belfast Royal Commission of 1857, disapproved of 
the display of Orange scarves even in a church. A strong 
condemnation of the system of wearing Orange emblems was 
contained in the General Orders issued by General Cockburne, 
an Irish Protestant, in 1810, when he vainly attempted to put 
down the lodges which existed among his troops at Chelmsford 
in violation of military regulations. He direc51;ed the officers 
of all regiments "to confine any man who dared to wear any 
riband or emblem which might create dispute among the men." 
" It must be evident," he continues, " that this order applies 
chiefly to the Irish soldiers. The mischief which all such 
party divisions occasion to the State is, unfortunately, too 
severely felt in Ireland. Nothing of the kind can be allowed 
here. Soldiers have no concern with such matters. They 
should serve his Majesty and their country with unanimity, 
which it is impossible for them to do if the spirit of party be 
allowed in a battalion.""' What would bring about such evil 
effedls among men living under the restraint of military 
discipline might naturally be expedled to produce either worse 
results, or like results in an aggravated form, among the civil 
population, the expression of whose feelings is not subje(5led to 
the iron curb of camp or barrack-room. 


Orange demonstrations would still be a serious menace to 
the public even if they consisted only of offensive and inflam- 
matory addresses from pulpit and platform, the use of party 
colours and emblems, party cries, etc. Unfortunately, they 
have not stopped here ; they have left a broad track of outrage 
and bloodshed along the course of Irish history, from the rise 
of the institution in 1795 down to the present day. The causes 
of this blood-guiltiness are to be sought in the following three 
circumstances, two of which have been already noted : 

I. The strong seflarian feeling aroused by their leaders, 
and by lodge literature and traditions in the rank and file of 
the Orange body. 

his hat. That colour had been chosen in complimer>t to the House of 
Bourbon." Hist, of England, vol. iii. , p. 62. 

^^ Given in full in Plowden's History of Ireland from its Union, vol. i., 
Introd., pp. 125-126. 



2. The habitual use of arms in Orange processions. 

3. The opposition frequently aroused among Catholics by 
the insults, outcries, challenges, threatening and overbearing 
demeanour, and outrages of the processionists. 

Three circumstances have combined to make the Catholic 
body in the Orange portions of Ulster (whatever the strength 
of their feelings may have been) slow to offer an a(51;ive physical 
opposition to L.O.L. processions : 

(a) Centuries of persecution, subjecStion, and helplessness 
had instilled into them a long-suffering patience under insult 
and injury. 

(b) Even if they had felt disposed to repel or punish insult 
or violence by physical force, there were two things which 
mitigated against such a proje(ft : (i) Through what may, in 
the circumstances, be deemed a happy lack of organisation, 
they could seldom or never assemble in such numbers as the 
well-organised members of the lodges ; (2) owing to the unfair 
operation of the Arms A6ts against Catholics, and to other 
causes, they were never so well armed, or so skilled in the use 
of weapons, as the large bodies of men whom the lodge cele- 
brations concentrated annually in the great Orange centres of 
Ulster. In most cases, as Dr. Robert Mullen pointed out to 
the Parliamentary Committee of 1835, resistance to Orange 
violence on the part of Catholics would, in the circumstances, 
have led to the annihilation of the latter." 

(c) With Catholics, a third restraining influence is supplied 
by the efforts of their clergy to prevent collisions between the 
opposing parties. The exertions of Bishop Crolly and his 
clergy at Crossgar, etc., in 1830 were testified to before the 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835. Mr. Stanley (a Protestant, 
and Chief Secretary for Ireland), condemned in the House of 
Commons the menacing attitude of Orangemen in 1832, and 
admitted that the peace was kept owing to the praiseworthy 
conducft of the Catholics, and to the manner in which they 
followed the advice of their spiritual guides. The Royal Com- 
missions of 1857, 1869, and 1886, and many of the witnesses 
examined by them, bore willing testimony to the'efforts made 
by the Catholic clergy in the interests of public peace. A 
procession of about a thousand Orangemen, decked out in full 
regalia, took place at Brunswick (Melbourne), on Sunday, 
July 18, 1897. On all hands serious riots were anticipated, but 
the forebodings were happily not fulfilled. The Argus of the 
following day, in an editorial, attributes the freedom from 

^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 6141. Further evidence on the superior 
armament of the Oranjcje party was given by Messrs. Christie, Sinclair 
J. P., Stratton, and othera. See chap, x., supra, 



grave disturbances mainly to the pacific admonitions of the 
Catholic clergy of Melbourne. In its issue of July 20, 1897, 
it states that " the Chief Commissioner of Police [a Protes- 
tant] considers the force were greatly aided in their work by 
the appeal made by the Catholic clergy, by the diredtion of 
Archbishop Carr, to the members of that denomination 
to absent themselves from the procession." A cloud 
of Protestant witnesses have testified to the usually 
peaceable demeanour of Ulster Catholics, under great provoca- 
tion, on the occasion of Orange anniversaries. Sir Frederick 
Stoven, Mr. Richardson Bell, J. P., Mr. W. J. Handcock, J. P., 
Mr. James Christie, of the Society of Friends, Mr. James 
Sinclair, J. P., and many other Protestants gave diredt or 
indirecft evidence of the patience of Catholics under grave 
exasperation, before the Selecft Parliamentary Committee of 
1835. Referring to the Derry disturbances of 1870, the Times 
said that the majority of the Roman Catholics "had shown the 
most laudable forbearance."^® During Lord Carlisle's Vice- 
royalty, the Lord Chancellor (Maziere Brady) declared, in his 
letter of Odtober 6, 1857, to the Lieutenant of Down, that 
the Orange society was mainly responsible for the breaches of 
the peace then constantly occurring. ^^ On February 18, of 
the following year. Lord Palmerston supported Chancellor 
Brady in replying to a protesting deputation of Ulster Orange- 
men. "Is it," he said, "an organisation which belongs to 
the age in which we live ? Is it not rather one that is suited 
to the middle ages — to those periods of society when anarchy 
has prevailed ?" He ridiculed the idea that they were a defensive 
association, and concluded by recommending the dissolution of 
the society. " I am sure," said he, " that there is nothing 
that they could do which would more materially contribute to 
the peace of Ireland, and to the obliteration of ancient 
prejudices ... It would be an essential advantage to 
the country at large. . . I can but repeat that nothing 
could be more desirable for the real interests of Ireland than 
the complete abandonment of the association."^ 

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the great Belfast 

secftarian riots of 1886 — one of the most volcanic years in later 

Orange history — said in their Report : " For a considerable 

period — at all events from the 8th June to the 19th September 

the principal adors in the riotins; were what is known as 

^^Times, July 16, 1870. 

i^The letter was published in the Northern Whig. See chap, xiv., in/ya. 
2" A report of this deputation appears in the London morning papers 
of February ig, 185S 



the Protestant Mob."^^ Later on in their Report the Commissioners 
say : " Unquestionably, however, a main cause of the pro- 
longed continuance of the disturbances was the wild and 
unreasoning hostility exhibited by a large sei51:ion of the 
Protestants of Belfast against the police."^^ Mr. Miller, a 
Protestant magistrate of Belfast, deposed before the Com- 
missioners that " the Catholic mob were more amenable to 
reason" than the "Orange mob."^^ Mr. M'Clelland, another 
Protestant magistrate, stated that "the Catholic party were 
well behaved," and that " the endurance and patience of the 
Catholics during the riots was simply wonderfid."^* This he largely 
attributed to the pacific efforts of the Catholic bishop and 
clergy. As evidence of the more peaceable characfter of the 
Catholic minority on this occasion, the Commissioners point 
out that the amount of damage done to the property of the 
latter was far greater than that done to the property of 
Protestants. Twenty-nine publichouses, for instance, be- 
longing to Catholics, and only two belonging to Protestants, 
were wrecked and looted ; while twenty out of the twenty-nine 
private houses wrecked belonged to Catholics,-^ who, it may 
be added, were in igSi only 26-3 per cent, of the Belfast 

It may be generally stated that the reprisals of Catholics 
were made under the bitter stimulus of such provocation as 
should never be needlessly given in any well-ordered com- 
munity, and least of all by a society which professes to be 
guided in its whole policy by love of religion, loyalty to the 
Throne, and obedience to constituted authority. 


One of the most reprehensible features in the condu(ft of 
Orange processionists is their habit of unprovokedly invading 
Catholic quarters of the same town or city (as very often in 
Belfast), or marching under arms on CathoHc villages or dis- 
tri(51:s at a distance. The great riots of Belfast, in 1864, began 
in the invasion of the Pound (Catholic quarter) by the armed 
Orangemen of Sandy-row, and their attempt to desecrate the 
Catholic cemetery by the mock burial of a hideous effigy of 
Daniel O'Connell.^^ The Protestant historian, Mitchel, tells 

^^Report, p. II. 

"^"^Ibid., p. 16; see Mr. McKnight's opinion, infra. This hostility to 
the guardians of law and order found a vigorous echo in the Victorian 
Standard of December i, 1886. 

•^■■■iMinutes 0/ Evidence, Q. 6452. 

^"^Ibid.. Q. 8870. 

^^Repori, p. 11. 

8 6 See Report of Royal Commission of 1864. 



how, on the 12th of July, 1808, Fr. Duane, parish priest of 
Mountrath, was barbarously murdered by armed Orange pro- 
cessionists from a distance. 2' An even worse outrage took 
place in the same town on the following 12th of July.^® On 
the first of this same July, at Bailieborough (Co. Cavan), a 
body of armed Orange yeomanry marched on the house of the 
parish priest, fired several shots at him, and left him for dead.-^ 
" None of the persons guilty of these outrages was ever 
punished, or even questioned," says Mitchel. A similar result 
followed the massacre of twenty-four men and two women, 
by armed Orangemen, at the fair of Shercock (Co, Cavan) in 

All, or almost all, of the following facfls — among many 
others of a similar kind — will be found in the Minutes oj 
Evidence taken by the Sele(ft Parliamentary Committee of 


The Catholic village of Carrowkeel was burned in 181 3 by 

two bodies of armed Orange processionists, who had come 
from a distance of some ten miles. Nine lives were lost on 
the occasion. The affair was ventilated in the House of 
Commons by Sir Henry Montgomery, when not a voice was 
raised in defence of the methods of the Orange society. A 
similar outrage was perpetrated at Caledon. During the 
Emancipation agitation. Catholic villages and districfts were 
frequently invaded by the loyal " sons of William." In 1830, 
after the Emancipation Bill was passed, a number of Catholic 
villages in Ulster were burned, or otherwise wrecked, and 
many of their inhabitants shot, by Orangemen who had come 
from a distance of many miles away. I need only mention the 
sanguinary invasion and destrudlion of Crossgar and Maghery, 
which have become historic throughout the North. ''^ In the 
following year (18 31) Banbridge was a scene of riot, wrecking 
and bloodshed. As many as 400 shots were said to have been fired 
on the occasion by the armed Orange processionists. In the 
same year occurred the massacre of Tullorier, in the County 
Down. The Orange processionists shot an old woman in her 
house, pursued four Catholic men, fired upon them, drove 
them into the river and drowned them. On mid- 
summer eve, 1830, some children were murdered by Orange- 
men at Tanderagee. After having served a term of imprison- 

2'^Mitchel's Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., c. xv., p. 136. 

2 8/Jj^. 


^°Life and Times of 0' Conn ell, vol. ii., p. 120. 

^^Cf. chap, iii., supra, notes 19 and 20, pp. 42, 43. For Crossgar sea 
Minutes 0/ Evidence, Qq. 4313, etc. 



inent only, two of the four murderers were escorted from 
prison, with bands and banners, by their fellow Orangemen,^^ 
In 1834, outrages of a serious kind were carried on for ten 
consecutive months by the notorious " Black Lodge," until at 
last the Irish Grand Lodge was provoked into condemning and 
disavowing them. The Catholic village of Annahagh was 
invaded from a distance on June 17, 1835, by large bodies of 
armed brethren, and sixteen Catholic houses in it burned to 
the ground. ^^ As usual, no Orangeman was ever punished for 
his part in that outrage. These and such like outrages drew 
the attention of Parliament to the necessity of investigation 
into the Orange system, and led to the appointment of the 
Committees of Inquiry of 1835. A summary list of the prin- 
cipal Orange outrages committed during the years 1836- 1839 
will be found in Barry O'Brien's Life and Letters of the di 
stinguished Irish Under-Secretary, Thomas Drummond.^^ On 
the twelfth of July, 1849, while the country was still reeling 
from the effecfts of the great famine, some 2,000 Orange pro- 
cessionists invaded and wrecked the Catholic village of 
Dolly's Brae, in the County Down. They were on their way 
from Ballyward to Castlewellan, and had their choice of two 
roads. One of these, says the Edinburgh Review for January, 
1850, was " the natural one." It was, moreover, as Com- 
missioner Berwick said in his official Report, " a comparatively 
good and level road." It was the route which, as Grand Master 
Beers admitted, the processionists had followed in peace the pre- 
vious year. The other, or old road led by the village of Dolly's 
Brae. It was, says the sams Government Commissioner, " bad 
and hilly," so that, as the Edinhuygh Review stdiies, it was "rarely 
used," and " a procession going from Ballyward to Castle- 
wellan would avoid Dolly's Brae, unless, indeed, they went out 
of their zmy on ptirposey In consequence of a murder com- 
mitted in their midst by Orangemen many years before, and 
of certain house-wreckings by local Oragemen in the previous 
year, the villagers determined to oppose the procession. The 
civil authorities endeavoured to have the route altered, but 
Grand Master Beers declared that " no power on earth would 
prevent the Orangemen going by Dolly's Brae." Mr. Berwick 
declared in his Official Report (p. 10) that the Orangemen who 

^"^Ibid., Qq. 6388, sqq.; also App. D2, and Sup. 3 to Appendices. 

3^ An idea of the riotous conduft of these armed processions, the 
terrorism which they caused, and their disregard for the Uves and property 
of Catholics, may be gathered from the evidence of Lord Gosford, Sir F. 
Stoven (Inspedlor-General of Police), Captain Duff, and other Protestant 
witnesses on the burning of Annahagh. See Minutes of Evidence. Qq. 3363- 
3474, etc., etc.; also Hansard, Third Series, vol. xxvii., p. 1074. 

«*Pp. 347-351- 



•' assembled in numbers, with display of arms and an avowed 
determination to proceed through a Roman CathoUc distri(5t by 
a particular road, where resistance was anticipated and a 
collision expedted," constituted " an unlawful assembly," 
which "ought to have been discountenanced in the outset, 
warned of the consequences of such conducfl, and, if necessary, 
prevented altogether ; certainly, at the very least, hindered 
from passing along the road where danger was apprehended." 
Some 800 to 1,200 of the Catholic party, many of them 
armed, assembled to oppose the procession. Owing to the 
exertions of two priests, the brethren were permitted to march 
through the village in undisturbed triumph. Beers was not 
satisfied with this vi(flory. Despite the earnest remonstrances 
of Mr. Fitzmaurice, the stipendiary magistrate, he marched 
his men back again through Dolly's Brae. The evidence sub- 
sequently adduced made it clear to Mr. Berwick that they 
were determined to provoke a breach of the peace. The 
Orangemen were, as Sub-Inspedtor Hill, Mr. Berwick, and 
others testified, heavily armed, some five hundred of their 
number carrying guns, bayonets, etc. Party cries rang out, 
and feeling ran high. At a critical moment, according to the 
evidence of Major White, Sub-Inspecflor Jann, and other wit- 
nesses, a shot or squib was fired from the head of the procession. 
It was answered by shots from the villagers and their 
sympathisers, who were posted on a hill, about a hundred 
yards from the Orangemen. Then the firing became general. 
The police charged and promptly dispersed tlie Catholic or 
Ribbon party. Some two hundred Orangemen pursued them, 
firing as they went, their bullets whistling indiscriminately 
among police and Ribbonmen. And here the fighting ended. 
Whilst the rear of the procession was thus engaged, those 
in front — a considerable distance away — fell furiously on 
the village of Magheramayo, where they had met with no 
opposition, wrecked, plundered, and burned the houses, 
spread devastation in the fields round about, and murdered 
defenceless and unoffending persons in cold blood. Mr. Ber- 
wick, a Protestant, who was subsequently sent down as 
Commissioner to inquire into the massacre, says in his official 
Report: "Whilst this was going on above, I lament to say 
that the work of retaliation, both on life and property, 
by the Orange party, was proceeding lower down the hill and 
along the side of the road in a most brutal and wanton manner, 
refledting the deepest disgrace on all by whom it was per- 
petrated or encouraged. One little boy, ten years old, was 
deliberately fired at and shot while running across a field. Mr. 
Fitzmaurice [.stipendiary magistrate] stopped a man in the 



adl of firing at a girl who was rushing from her father's house. 
An old woman of seventy was murdered, and the skull of an 
idiot was beaten in with the butts of their muskets. Another 
old woman was severely beaten in her house, while another, 
who was subsequently saved by the police, was much injured, 
and left in her house, which had been set on fire. An inoffensive 
man was taken out of his house, dragged to his garden, and 
stabbed to death by three men with bayonets, in the sight of 
some of his family. The Roman Catholic chapel, the house 
of the Roman Catholic curate, and the National school-house, 
were fired into and the windows broken ; and a number of 
the surrounding houses of the Roman Catholic inhabitants 
were set on fire and burnt, every article of furniture having 
been first wantonly destroyed therein ; and had it not been foi 
the a(5live interference of magistrates and the troops, much 
more loss of life and property would undoubtedly have taken 
place." The chief fury of the Orange party seems to have 
been direc^led against the women of Magheramayo. Besides 
those who were killed, a young girl and an old woman 
of seventy (Rose King) were seriously wounded, and at 
least three more were, with difficulty, rescued by the police 
from their burning houses, or from various forms of brutal 
illtreatment at the hands of men who are (on paper) 
required — as a condition of membership of their society 
— to be "gentle, compassionate, kind, and courteous." Sub- 
Inspe(5lor Ponsonby Hill described the a(5lions of the Orange 
processionists as " disgraceful outrages." Sub-Inspedlor Jann 
writes of them to his superior officers : " The gross outrages 
committed [by the Orangemen] are nearly beyond the power 
of description, and demand a searching investigation." "No 
language," he continues, " can describe the scene of horror 
that has been enacfted in the neighbourhood." During the 
course of the investigation subsequently held by Commissioner 
Berwick, Grand Master Beers, the ringleader of the Orange 
party, said of the outrages of his followers : " I call it a very 
serious blot, and deplore it deeply, as a man of humanity and 
as a gentleman, or any man." The " vi(5tory" of Dolly's Brae 
was speedily celebrated by a banquet to the hero of the day, 
Mr. Beers, whereof Mr. Berwick thus writes in his official 
Report (p. 9) : " Considering the recent calamity, the occur- 
rence of this dinner at such a time, presided over by the High 
Sheriff, who is the officer by law appointed to selecft the panel 
of jurors before whom all parties charged with offences in that 
county must be tried, and accompanied by the utterance of 
such sentiments, in his presence, must be lamented as highly 
tending to shake public confidence in the administration of 



justice, and to increase the exasperation which existed." Such 
was the " battle " of Dolly's Brae, which Grand Chaplain 
Drew termed a " vicftory"; and which has many a time and 
oft furnished a theme for the halting couplets of the laureates 
of the Orange society."*^ 

On July 12, i860, a large body of armed brethren who 
were celebrating their anniversary under the thin disguise 
of a "musical festival" — such as took place at Richmond 
(Vidloria) in 1895 — used their weapons to such purpose that 
some fourteen persons were killed or wounded at the village of 
Derrymacash. This sanguinary riot led to the Processions 
A(51: of August 20, i860, amending that of 1850, and forbidding 
the use of weapons and party emblems in processions,^*' The 
Ulster brethren greeted the new measure with threats of 
armed resistance, and with a fierce salvo of vituperation 
direcfted against the Queen, Parliament, the judges, and th^ 
dignitaries of the Established Church. 

Referringto an Orange demonstration in County Monaghan, 
which led to a riot, the Times of July 16, 1870, has the following : 
" The Northern Whig observes that the inhabitants of the 
distri(5l are nearly all Roman Catholics, so that the propriety 
of having any Orange celebration was strongly questioned." 
The Northern Whig is a Protestant paper of a very pronounced 
anti-Nationalist type. 

The Derry riots of 1883 began by the Apprentice Boys 
storming and taking possession of the Town Hall that had 
been hired by the National Registration Committee for Alder- 
man Dawson, M.P., Lord Mayor of Dublin, for a lecture on 
the Elecftoral Reform Bill, which became law in the follozving year. 
According to the Report of the Royal Commission of In- 

^^See Berwick's official Report on the massacre, issued as a Govern- 
ment Blue Book by order of the House of Lords, bearing date February 
18, 1850. Incorporated with it are the Reports of the Police officials, and 
minutes of the court proceedings at Castlewilliam. See also Edinburgh 
Review for January, 1850. Regarding the firing of the first shot or 
squib, the Edinburgh Review states positively that it "was fired from 
the head of the procession." It says: "The evidence is conflidting, 
whether the squib came from the road or the hill. There are seven 
or eight witnesses in support of each opinion; but where there is 
plainly a general leaning towards the Orangemen, the agreement against 
them of the three commanding officers, Major White, of the Ennis- 
killens, Captain Fitzmaurice, the stipendary, and Mr. Hill, the Inspedor 
of Police, is to our judgment conclusive." Berwick's Report on the Dolly's 
Brae massacre was so strong that Grand Master Beers, J. P., and Lord 
Roden — the leaders of the Orange party — were deprived of the Commiss- 
ion of the Peace. 

^^Hist. of Orangeism by "M.P.", p. 241. 

225 O 


quiry,^' this adl of illegality was perpetrated under the very 
eyes of a large force of police that stood around the building. 
No attempt was made by them to stop the disorderly crowd 
of Apprentice Boys,^** who discharged their firearms from the 
windows of the City Hall against the Catholic crowds gathered 
around. The Report of the Derry Commission (1883) is 
founded almost entirely on Protestant evidence. The Catholics 
protested against what they called a mere Kid-glove method of 
inquiry. They demanded a sworn investigation, with sum- 
mary powers vested in the Commissioners. The Government 
having refused to accede to their demand, the representative 
Catholics of Derry declined to recognise the Commission, and 
pracSlically boycotted it. 


In referring to the invasion of Catholic distridlis, mentioi 
should be made of the persistent series of counter-demonstra- 
tions organised by the Orange party for the purpose of inter- 
fering with, intimidating, or breaking up Nationalist meetings 
during the Home Rule agitation in the eighties. The Lord 
Chancellor had declared such Nationalist demonstrations to 
be perfecftly legal. "Parties," he continued, "who assail 
such a meeting would be common disturbers of the public 
peace, but parties who, after organising a counter- meeting, 
bring their forces in close proximity to the place of the meeting 
which is obje(5tionable to them, particularly when in doing so 
they exhibit indications of defiance, or a challenge, incur 
responsibility of a most serious characfter — that of endangering 
the public peace in the very highest degree.'"*^ These counter- 
demonstrations were organised in every case, as far as I know, 
by the officers of the Orange institution, were fed by great 
numbers of the brethren from a distance, and took place for 
the most part in districfts where the Catholic population were 
in a majority.^" Subscriptions were raised by the leaders of 

^''Report, p. vii. See also the report of the Orange organ, the Dublin 
Daily Express, November 2, 1883. 

^^Ibid. The Apprentice Boys of Derry are to all intents and purposes 
Orangemen under a different name. See chap, x., supra, note 16. 

39Letter to Sir John Leslie, ex-M.P. for Monaghan, dated December 
in, 1883. Mr. George Scott, County Grand Master for Dublin, admitted 
that the Orange counter-meeting summoned by him for Kill-o'-the-Grange 
"might be interpreted as inciting to illegal ads" (Dubhn Evening Mail, 
January 26, 1884, last ed.). Captain Hamilton signed a placard intimating 
that the proposed meeting would be "illegal." The placard is quoted in 
Mr. Healy's Loyalty plus Murder, p. 62. In spite of their known illegality, 
Orange counter-demonstrations continued to be held throughout Ulster. 

■toNationalist meetings were allowed and Orange counter-demonstra- 



the Orange party " to defray the expenses of securing the 
attendance of loyal men."" Wildly inflammatory placards, 
signed by the leaders of the organisation, were printed in the 
Orange press, and posted up in the distridiis where the 
Nationalist meetings had been previously announced. From 
press, platform, or dead-wall the brethren were urged to be 
" ready with their sweethearts and plenty of stuff;'"*'^ to " bring 
refreshments ;"*^ to provide themselves with " plenty of 
material;"** to "never use a revolver except they were 
firing at someone."*^ " Keep the cartridge in the rifle," said 
a gallant colonel to the brethren at Rathmines, January lo, 
1884. " Keep your powder dry," was the advice of an agitator 
at Derry/^ " Keep a firm grip on your sticks," said another at 
Dromore on New Year's Day, 1884. And so on and on. I 
have already quoted the statement made by Chief-Secretary 
Sir George Trevelyan regarding the " sackfuls of revolvers" 
taken by the police from the Orange party on the occasion of 
their counter demonstration at Dromore, January i, 1884.'*' 
He thus describes the condition to which Ulster had been 
brought by the seditious incitements of the Orange leaders : 
" In spite of the facfl that Ulster was full of armed men, who 
were excited to an extreme degree by the violent speeches of 
their leaders ; that every hand brandished a cudgel ; that tens 

tions took place in 

the foil 

owing distrifts 

in the end of 1883 and 

up to Fe 

ruary 1884: 


Tot. Pop. 





. 4.196 . 

. 2,720 . 

693 • 

• 685 


• 5.231 

• 3.537 • 

7S4 ■ 

. 892 


• 1.333 . 

624 . 

566 . 




• 2,312 

836 . 

• 933 


• 5.452 . 

• 3.748 . 

940 . 

• 505 


. 4.109 


836 . 


Omagh . . 


• 2,424 . 

922 . 

■ 580 



• 4.394 

1.357 ■ 

• 258 

Total . . . . 34,625 . . 22,071 . . 6,884 • • 4.996 

This table is given in preface to Loyalty plus Murder, by Mr. T. M 
Healy, M.P. A thousand ship-carpenters were announced, by plentiful 
posters, to attend a counter-meeting at Dungannon — 100 miles away — on 
September 27, 1883. Daily Express, September 24, 1883. 

*iThe Dublin Freeman's Journal of December 26, 1883, published a 
circular calling for subscriptions in the above terms. It was issued by the 
Tyrone Grand Lodge, and was signed by the Deputy County Grand 
Master, and three others. 

^^Daily Express, November 6, 1883. 

*3From circular issued to the lodges of Londonderry. 

^^Daily Express. November 6, 1883. 

*^Daily Express, December 8, 1883. 

*^Daily Express, Odober 11, 1883. 

♦''See chap, x., supra. 



of thousands of revolvers were being carried about ; and that 
the leaders of the men were telling them to take a firm grip of 
their sticks, and not to fire their pistols except when they were 
certain of hitting somebody, the winier had so far passed with 
no great or striking disaster. "^^ 

In Derry, towards the close of 1883, riots of so serious a 
nature were originated by the Orange party, that a Royal 
Commission was appointed to inquire into them. In December 
of the same year the Apprentice Boys defied a proclamation 
forbidding their annual celebration of the siege of Derry. ^^ On 
New Year's day, 1884, a large body of Orangemen assembled, 
armed with revolvers, etc., in the proclaimed distridt of 
Dromore, and attacked a legal meeting of Nationalists. The 
Riot A(ft was read a first and second time ; the police and 
mihtary charged the brethren twice with lance and bayonet, 
wounded several, and killed an unfortunate Orange youth 
named Giffen.^" In its comment on the inquest of GifFen, the 
chief organ of the Irish lodges said : " The men may have 
misbehaved ; they may have deserved what they got ; but it is 
very painful to the feelings of all people to find the Queen's 
troops charging and cutting down even rioters who are urged on 
to riot by loyalty." ^^ 

At Belfast the passions of the Orange proletariat were 
wrought up to a high fury by screaming placards and by the 
perfervid oratory of itinerant agitators. Among the stirring 
incidents of the time, I may mention the following : A large 
body of Orange torch-light processionists attacked and 
smashed the windows of the convent of Ballynafeigh. The 
Superior, Mother de Chantal, had been in a delicate state of 
health for some time. The cheers and cries of the procession- 
ists, the noise of the falling stones, and the crash of the 
smashed glass caused such a shock to her system that she 
died in a few hours after the attack.®^ Further serious damage 
was done to property in other parts of Belfast. The police 
were violently set upon with stones and broken bottles by the 
Orange rioters; some twenty of the " loyalists " were fined or 
imprisoned ; and the Resident Magistrate, Mr. Hamilton (a 
Protestant), referred in terms of strong condemnation to the 
*' objedliionable proceedings" and the *' disgraceful behaviour" 
of the culprits who had been brought before him.^* For over 

*8Hansard, vol. cclxxxiv., p. 384. 

*9The Daily Express commends their adion in its issue of December 
19. 1883. 

soFreeman's Journal, January 2, 1884. 

^^Daily Express, January 3, 1884. 

s^See Freeman's Journal of date. 

6» Freeman's Journal, Odtober 10, 18S3, and previous issues. 



two years the embers of religious hate smouldered on, until 
they broke forth into the historic coniiagration which has been 
termed the Belfast civil war of 1886. Whereof, more anon. 

These are but samples, taken more or less at random from 
the recorded doings of Orange processionists. The list of 
outrages published in 1797 by an eye-witness, in A View of the 
State of Irelajid,^^ makes quite a bulky pamphlet, although it 
deals with a comparatively small distri(5t, and with only a little 
over one year of Orange history. The scope of the present 
chapters makes it necessary to adduce only a few leading 
instances, covering a wide period of the society's annals, to point 
out (a) the spirit that animates the July processionists ; {b) a 
peculiarly reprehensible feature in their celebrations ; and (c) 
to show what may be expecfted in these new lands if ever the 
institutions should become a power among us. The history 
of Canada from 1871 to 1878, and the wreckings of Catholic 
houses, churches, and convents in the Dominion,®^ furnish an 
example and a warning to legislators in other portions of the 
British Empire. 


Writing on the subjecft of the massacre of Dolly's Brae 
and the invasion of Catholic districts by the brethren, John 
Mitchel — an Ulsterman and Protestant — quotes with approval 
the following description of what he terms " the usual Orange 
style" of celebrating the '* glorious twelfth." " It is written," he 
says, " by one who knew the North of Ireland well : " 

" In some districfts of that country Protestants are the 
majority of the people. The old policy of the Government had 
been to arm the Protestants and disarm the Catholics. The 
magistrates at all sessions are Orangemen, or high British 
loyalists. In those districts, therefore. Catholics lead the lives 
of dogs — lie down in fear, and rise up in foreboding. Their 
worship is insulted, and their very funerals are made an occa- 
sion of riot. One of the July anniversaries comes round — the 
days of Aughrim and the Boyne : the pious Evangelicals must 
celebrate those disastrous but hard fought battles, where 
William of Nassau, with his army of French Huguenots, 
Danes, and Dutchmen, overthrew the power of Ireland, and 
made the noble old Celtic race hewers of wood and drawers of 
water even unto this day. Lodges assemble at some central 
point, with drums and fifes playing ' The Protestant Boys.' 
At the rendezvous are the Grand Masters, with their sashes 
and aprons — a beautiful show. Procession formed, they walk 

^''See chap, ii., note 68, supra, pp. 2S-29. 

sfiChambers' Encyclopedia, ed. 1867, art. "Orangemen." 



in lodges, each with its banner of orange or purple, and 
garlands of orange lilies borne high on poles. Most have 
arms, yeomanry muskets or pistols, or ancient swords whetted 
for the occasion. They arrive at some other town or village, 
dine in the public-house, drink the ' glorious, pious, and 
immortal memory of King William,' and ' To Hell with the 
Pope' ; re-form their procession after dinner, and then comes 
the time for Protestant aeftion. They march through a Papist 
townland ; at every house they stop and play ' Croppies, Lie 
Down!' and the ' Boyne Water,' firing a few shots over the 
house at the same time. The doors are shut, the family in 
terror ; the father, standing on the floor with knitted brow and 
teeth clenched through the nether lip, grasping a pitchfork (for 
the police long since found out and took away his gun). Bitter 
memories of the feuds of ages darken his soul. Outside, with 
taunting music and brutal jests and laughter, stand in their 
ranks the Protestant communicants. The old grandmother 
can endure no longer ; she rushes out, with grey hair stream- 
ing, and kneels on the road before them. She clasps her old, 
thin hands, and curses them in the name of God and His Holy 
Mother. Loud laughs are the answer, and a shot or two over 
the house or in through the window. The old crone, in frantic 
exasperation, takes up a stone and hurls it with feeble hand 
against the insulting crew. There, the first assault is com- 
mitted ; everything is lawful now ; smash go the unglazed 
windows and their frames ; zealous Protestants rush into the 
house raging ; the man is shot down at his own threshold, the 
cabin is wrecked, and the procession, playing ' Croppies, Lie 
Down !' proceeds to another Popish den. So the Reformation 
is vindicated. The names of Ballyvarly and Tullyorier will 
rise to the lips of many a man who reads this description."®" 

And so on and on. Year after year the Orange centres of 
Ulster — and they alone of all the land — are the scenes of 
sedlarian riot and confusion. July after July police and military 
are drafted thither to keep the peace, and the ratepayers suffer. 
The reader has already seen how Mr. Christie, an eye-witness, 
and member of the Society of Friends, deposed before the 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835 that every 12th of July, 
from the rise of Orangeism in 1795 down to that date, had 
been marked by riot and outrage." From 1835 down to the 
present day there had been little or no change for the better. 
The Belfast Royal Commission of 1857 says in its Report {^. ^) : 
" The I2th of July has always brought with it its Orange 

BSMitchel's His/. Ireland, vol. ii., c, xxvii., p. 250, note. (Cameron and 
Ferguson's ed.). 

5 7 See note 5, f^hap. x. 



gatherings, its party displays, its consequent riots. In different 
degrees the rioting was serious or but slight in different years, 
but differing only in degree— riots, disorder, the firing of shots 
in one districfl, with answering shots from the other — all these 
things were annually displayed in a town like Belfast, so 
improved and so plainly improving, threatening at any moment 
outbreaks and riots which might imperil the safety of property 
and of life in the entire town." Some of the greatest disturb- 
ances caused or occasioned by Orange demonstrations were 
those of 1857, 1864, 1869, 1S72, 1883, and 1886 — the cyclonic 
area being in each of these instances one or other of the twin 
capitals of L.O.L. life and acSlivity, Belfast and Derry. The 
Belfast riots of 1886 lasted over four months. During that 
time firearms were freely used, steady firing being kept up for 
davs together, as during the great disturbances of 1857.^* 
What the Royal Commissioners term in their Report " fast 
firing" went on " without intermission" at times, and even 
women were shot at in the streets.*^ Mr. T. McKnight, an 
eminent Belfast Protestant journalist, already referred to, de- 
scribes in his recent work, Ulster As It Is, the deadly antipathy 
of the brethren to the police who were drafted into Belfast to 
quell the disturbances. The riots of 1886 had the following 
results : 

At least thirty-two lives were lost.'"* 

Three hundred and seventy-one policemen were injured by 
the rioters. ^^ 

Thirty-one public houses were wrecked, looted, etc.^^ 

Twenty-nine private houses were wrecked, twenty of them 
belonging to Catholics. '''* 

The value of the property destroyed by the rioters was 
estimated at ;^go,ooo,^^ which had to be made good by the 

Four hundred and forty-two arrests were made, and the 
number of the police alone in the city (the military not counted 
here) amounted to close on 2000.^^ 


All this is but one specimen of what is witnessed in the 
" loyal and prosperous North." The Derry procession of 

■'^Report of Royal Commission of 1857, p. 6. 

59P. 6. 

^^ Report of Royal Commission, Supplement B2. 

^^Ibid., Appendix B. 



•■'' Report of Royal Commission, p. 4 

'^^Ibid., pp. 20, 21. 



December, i86g, cost the ratepayers at least ;^i 2,000. That 
of August, 1870, was computed to cost the city a like 
sum.^^ The ratepayers have not merely to defray the expenses 
of these large extra forces of police and military which are 
drafted to Ulster every year, but also to make compensation 
for the malicious injury done to property during those periods 
of religious war which so often disgrace the Orange centres of 
Ulster — and which are happily unknown in other parts of 
Ireland. Reports for 1896 show that in Belfast, Newry, 
Paisley (Scotland), and elsewhere, the Orange society is still 
maintaining the traditions which befit an Association for the 
Perpetuation of Religious Rancour. 

It is easy to judge from these few sample fadts and figures 
the disastrous inroads which these foolish demonstrations make 
every year upon the pockets of the ratepayers of Belfast, Derry, 
Armagh, Portadown, and other centres of Orange life in Ulster. 
The total cessation of these displays, besides the happy effedt it 
would have of allaying sedlarian rancour, would permit of 
large sums of money to be spent on works of public utility. 
It is no wonder, therefore, that the Times'^'' advocated, even on 
economic grounds, the total prohibition of Orange processions. 
Such a prohibition, it declared, would have been "the 
shortest, cheapest, and surest method of preserving order. '"'^ 


The Belfast Royal Commission of 1857 characfterises as a 
public scandal, the disorder and confusion in Belfast, arising 
out of these demonstrations. " And all this," said their Re- 
port, " resulting from the foolish anxiety of some of the inhabitants to 
keep alive scenes that are, in later days, idle displays merely of offence. '''^^ 
Similar language (quoted in the last chapter) was used in the 
House of Commons, in 1870, by the Chief Secretary for Ire- 
land, Mr. Chichester Fortescue.™ Elsewhere in their Report, 
the Royal Commissioners of 1857 declare: ^^ The celebration of 
that festival (72th Jtdy) by the Orange party in Belfast is plainly 
and unmistakably the originating cause of these riots. "'^ A similar 
conclusion was arrived at by the Royal Commissions of 
1864, i86g, 1883, and 1886. One and all of them recom- 

6^The Derry Journal, quoted by the Times, i6th August, 1870. The 
Tivies of 13th December, i86g, refers to the fierce anti-DisestabHshnient 
Orange displays of that year as "the explosion of Protestant feeling in 
Belfast and Dublin, and the violent expression of Orange bitterness." 

^''Times, August 16, 1870. 

^^Ibid., August 15, 1870. 

e^Report, p. 15. 

'OHansard, vol. cciii., Third Series, p. iS5. 

''^Report, p. 9, etc. 



mended the suppression of party processions of all kinds. The 
Belfast Royal Commissioners of 1857 say in their Report : "The 
Processions Acft, and the steps taken to repress these celebra- 
tions, are legislative declarations of their impropriety and 
dangerous consequences."'^ They express a hope that " the 
reasonable and calm-thinking of all parties" will "exercise 
their influence in preventing the future public celebrations of the 
twelfth of July in a manner to excite the population around 
them, even if good sense, good feeling, and the love of order and peace 
zmll not induce them to effect a more thorough cure by its non- 
celebration in future."''^ Similar advice was given by Mr. 
Berwick, the Commissioner appointed to inquire into the 
Dolly's Brae massacre of 1849. In his Report, he strongly 
urges upon the Government the necessity of putting down 
Orange processions with a strong hand. The curious reader 
will find a strong and very general condemnation of Orange 
processions, by Protestant Government officials, in the 
Minutes of Evidence of the Selecfl Committee appointed by the 
House of Lords in 1839 to inquire into the state of Ireland 
with respecft to crime. Among the witnesses who gave evi- 
dence before that Committee, there was probably not one 
whose knowledge of the country was so intimate and exten- 
sive as that of its distinguished Under-Secretary, Mr. Thomas 
Drummond. He testified to the beneficial effecfls which had 
followed the energetic efforts put forth by the Executive in his 
time to suppress the Orange processions in the North." " It 
has led," said he, " to a diminution of those riots which took 
place at fairs and other places where the hostile parties met, 
as well as on other occasions."'* " The efFe(5t of the proces- 
sions," he continued, " was not confined to the days on which 
they took place. The spirit excited on those days remained 
for a long period afterwards ; and on every succeeding fair, or 
wherever the people were brought together, disturbances 
followed. The suppression of the processions has put a stop 
to those disturbances.""' Similar evidence was laid before the 
Selecft Committee appointed by the House of Lords in 1852 to 
inquire into outrages in Ireland." 

''^Report, p. 9. 

"J s Ibid. 

''^Minutes op Evidence, Qq, 12291, 12326. 

''^Ibid., Qq. 12327-1232S. 

''^Ibid., Q. 12328. See also the strong evidence of Mr. G. Warburton, 
Deputy Inspeftor-General of Police (Qq. 807-813), of Mr. Hamilton (Qq. 
9137-9164), etc. 

'^''Sessional Papers, House of Lords, Session 1852-1853, vol. Ixx. Seledt 
Committee on outrages (Ireland). See evidence of Mr. Kirk, an Armagh 
manufadturer, Qq. 4385-43S6. 



The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Derry disturb- 
ances of 1869, refers in strong terms to the " exasperation " 
caused by these celebrations, recommend the prevention of all 
open-air party processions, and declare that the Catholics are 
quite willing to accept such a general prohibition.''^ Events 
soon proved that the Orange party were not so amenable to 
reason, even in the interest of public peace. During the 
course of this inquiry thirty-six witnesses, representing every 
phase of religious and political thought, declared against all 
party processions in Derry. The Royal Commission of Inquiry 
into the Belfast riots of 1886 urged the Government to confer 
summary power on the local authorities to prevent all proces- 
sions of a kind calculated to produce a breach of the peace.'" 

To the list of statesmen and politicians who have con- 
demned Orange processions, I may add the following : Mr. 
Chichester Fortescue, Chief Secretary for Ireland, in opposing 
the repeal of the Party Processions Adt in 1870, said, on 
behalf of the Government : "They (the Government) were not 
prepared, in the present condition of Ireland, to do that which 
would appear to be a proclamation on their part that these 
party processions were harmless or inoffensive, and without 
danger to the peace and prosperity of Ireland."^" During the 
debate on the same Bill, Mr. Saunderson (who was then a quasi- 
Liberal, but subsequently an Orangeman) said in the House of 
Commons that, " in the present disturbed state of Ireland, all 
processions, of whatever charadter, were a great misfortune 
and ought to be avoided, and the Grand Jury of the county 
where he resided had adopted a memorial to the Government 
to that effedt."®^ The testimony of Mr. Johnston of Bally- 
kilbeg (an Orangeman) on this subjecft, and that of the Irish 
Grand Lodge, have already been quoted. It only remains to 
add that the suppression of Irish Orangeism in 1825, and the 
Party Processions Adls of 1832, 1850, and i860 (which were 
occasioned by the violence of the lodges), are so many pracftical 
expressions by the British Parliament of its convidlion that 

''^Report, pp. 16, 19. 

''^Report, p. 16. 

soHansard, vol. cciii.. Third Series, p. 165. On March 30, he said 
that such peace as existed in Ulster was "in spite of these party pro- 
cessions." (Hansard of date, p. 943). 

81/6/if., vol. cc. Third Series, p. 960. Mr. Saunderson was Major, and 
is now Colonel, in the Cavan Fusiliers. At the Roselea Orange counter- 
demonstration, Odober 16, 1883, he moved a resolution beginning: "That 
we, the loyal Orangemen of Newtownbutler," etc. (Freeman's Jouynal, Odlo- 
ber 17, 1883). He also signed a placard addressed "to the Orangemen of 
Cavan," calling upon them to make a counter-demonstration at Cootehill 
on New Year's day, 1884. His speeches at this period were of the shrillest 
kind. See, for instance, the Daily Express, January 11, 1884. 



the public proceedings of the society are inimical to tlie peace 
of the country. 

The Grand Lodge has repeatedly confirmed the expulsion 
of Orangemen for such high crimes as "marrying a Papist," 
voting against their Grand Master, supporting candidates that 
favoured Catholic Emancipation, etc. I have yet to find in 
the annals of Orange history a single instance in which a 
member of the society was expelled for taking part in illegal 
processions, defying the forces of the Crown, or destroying the 
property, shedding the blood, or taking the lives of his 
" Roman Catholic brethren." In a subsequent chapter I shall 
have occasion to consider, in some detail, the methods by 
which lodge criminals or misdemeanants have been glorified 
as heroes, or systematically shielded by Orange magistrates 
and jurymen from the legal consequences of their misdeeds. 


In estimating the efFedl of Orange demonstrations on the 
public peace, we must take into account not merely the nature 
of the feelings, but likewise the characSter of the opposition, 
which they are calculated to evoke in the Catholic body. In 
doing so we must not form our judgment from the effecfls which 
they produce in the minds of the more staid, pious, or patient 
portion of the Catholic laity : we must take people in the mass, 
as they acftually are, and not as they would be if living under 
ideal conditions. 

The average human being is easily aroused by personal 
insult — still more, when such insult is uncalled-for, deliberate, 
unprovoked, and oft-repeated. The sense of wrong, and the 
resulting provocation, are, perhaps, only aggravated when the 
offensive adtion or display touches certain cherished feelings 
that are not simply and purely personal, such as religious 
sentiment, national pride, party honour. Here you touch the 
nation, creed, or party, on the quick, and arouse elements 
which make for riot, party strife, or war. The reader has 
already seen how all these grounds of high offence to Catholics 
are contained in what the Times terms those public "exhibitions 
of seiftarian rancour"®-^ — Orange demonstrations, with their 
inflammatory discourses and outcries, their adfs of insult and 
violence, and, running through all, the bitter associations that 
they bring of the betrayal, impoverishment, persecution, and 
long-attempted degradation of a people. It is not to be won- 
dered at, therefore, that, in the course of a century, the deep 
sense of brooding wrong and resentment of the Catholic masses 
in Ulster has at times found expression in adls of resistance 

^^Times, Aug;ust 15, 1870. 


or of retaliation. Happily, these provoking displays of party 
triumph have not evoked their full natural measure of retali- 
ation. This, however, is due to no forbearance on the part of 
the brethren, but (as has been shown above) to circumstances 
which are quite external to their organisation. The expression 
of the resentment of the Catholic masses has taken, at various 
times and places, one or other, or both, of the following 
shapes : 

1. Against Orange displays: Attempts to prevent or to 
disturb processions, or invasions of Catholic quarters or 
villages, etc. ; counter-demonstrations. 

2. Against Orange outrages : The formation of counter- 
associations in self-defence. 

The reader will bear in mind that I am not defending these 
expressions of Catholic discontent. My purpose is to give a 
record of warning incidents which deserve to be more widely 
known, in the hope that these new lands may be spared some 
of the heart-burnings which have been the bane of Ulster ever 
since 1795. 


I. The story of ill-advised attempts to prevent, disturb, or 
interfere with the full course of the brethren's periodical proces- 
sions, raids, or invasions in Ulster, has been already pradlically 
told. In most instances the opposition has been feeble ; in 
nearly every case disastrous to its promoters. The story 
of the unprovoked Orange raids on Derrygonnelly (181 1), 
Carrowkeel (1813), Maghery (1830), Banbridge (1831), 
Annahagh (1835), Dolly's Brae (1849), Derrymacash (i85o), 
and many other such, has proved the folly of the ill-armed 
and unorganised Catholic party flinging themselves — even in 
defence of their hearths and lives — against compacft and well- 
organised masses of from 1000 to 50,000 men, most of them in 
the prime of life, and armed, altogether or in part, with rifles, 
shot guns, revolvers, swords, bayonets, etc. The great Belfast 
sectarian riots of 1857 and 1886 were cases in point, and 
proved, by their results, how disastrous it was for the small 
Catholic minority there to attempt to " fight it out" with what 
Rev. Dr. Johnston (a Protestant clergyman) termed that 
*' very riotous and ill-disposed set," the Orange mob of Sandy- 

The Belfast Royal Commission of 1857 condemned Orange 
demonstrations altogether, as being direcft incitements to 
breaches of the peace. Such being the case, they said in their 

^^Report of Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Belfast Riots o 
1886, p. 20. 



Report : " We think it a matter of little moment by whom the 
first blow was struck, or the first stone was thrown."^* The 
Edinburgh Review of January, 1836, dealing with the Report of 
the Parliamentary Committee of 1835 on Orange lodges, 
says : " Admit all the recriminations against the Catholics for 
violent obstrucflion of the Orange processions, for severe and 
often savage retaliation of wrongs, for party spirit in the 
witness-box — they seldom reach the jury or the bench — and 
for all the secret working of their Ribbon societies ; yet, if 
proved to the fullest extent, to what do all these charges 
amount ? They make out no case or excuse for the existence 
of Orangeism. On the contrary, these offences of the Catholics are 
the necessary consequences of the Orange insults and outrages. Thus, 
the heavier the charges which the Orangemen substantiate against the 
Catholics, the stronger is the recoil upon themselves."^ 


2. Another serious outcome of the proceedings of the 
Orange society has been frequently brought under the notice 
of the British public. This is, its tendency to give rise to 
counter-demonstrations of a defensive characfter. In Ulster 
this tendency is increased by the notorious difficulty which 
Catholics experience in obtaining legal redress from Orange 
magistrates or jurors. The Orange writer, Musgrave, suffi- 
ciently indicates this effedl of the Orange system in the 
very book which he wrote as the apology of the society. 
" However useful," said he, " the Orange institution may 
be in a country where the members of the Established Church 
are numerous, it must be allowed that it must have been 
injurious where there are but few, because it only tended to 
excite the vengeance of the Romanists against them ; and they 
could not unite in sufficient numbers for the defence. It should 
not be admitted in our regular army, or militia, consisting of 
both, as it would be likely to create party zeal and discord. "^"^ 

While the society was still in its infancy — in 1796 — it dis- 
played its capacity for forcing its vicftims to betake themselves, 
for self-defence, to other secret and illegal associations. Abun- 
dant proof of this is published by the authors of what Lecky 
terms the " evidently truthful Memoir'' written for the Govern- 
ment in 1798. They say : " We will here remark, once for 
all, what we solemnly aver, that wherever the Orange system 
was introduced, particularly in Catholic counties, it was uni- 
formly observed that the numbers of the United Irishmen 

» ^Report, p. 6. 

ssQuoted by "M.P.," Hist, of Orangeism, p. 211. 

^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, ed. 1801, vol. i., p. 74. 



increased most astonishingly. The alarm which an Orange 
lodge created among the Catholics made them look for refuge 
by joining together in the United system."^' 

In the great debate on the Orange society that took place 
in the House of Commons, June 2gth, 1813, Mr. William 
Wynne, a Protestant M.P., said that " certainly it was impos- 
sible to conceive an institution more ill-timed in itself or more 
mischievous in its operation, (Hear, hear.) Everyone could 
see that, if these societies were permitted, they should give rise 
to others of a similar charader, and thus one part of the country 
would be arrayed against the other, with all the jealousies of 
political facflion and hatred. "®® In the following year (1814) 
Judge Fletcher said, in the course of his historic charge at the 
Wexford Summer Assizes: " I have observed, too, as the con- 
sequence of those Orange combinations and confederacies, 
men, ferocious in their habits, uneducated, not knowing what 
remedy to resort to, in their despair, flying in the face of the 
law, entering into dangerous and criminal counter-associations, 
and endeavouring to procure arms, in order to meet, upon equal 
terms, their Orange assailants. "*'* An illustration of this was 
furnished by the great Belfast riots of 1857. After the blood- 
shed and incendiarism of July 12th and 13th of that year, some 
ill-advised members of the Catholic body— finding the local 
forces unable or unwilling to protecft them^° — formed a gun 
club,^^ so as to cope on more equal terms with the Orangemen, 
who had been previously armed at the lodges. ^^ On the 4th 
of May, 1824, during a debate on Orange lodges, Sir John 
Newport drew the attention of the House of Commons to 
judicial remarks made to a grand jury during the last circuit : 
" That if they allowed Orange societies, they must be prepared 
for Ribbon societies, one of which created the other." As a 
matter of fadf, the Orangemen called into existence the Ribbon- 
men of Ulster, who first made their appearance about 1812."''' 

^''Memoirs, p. 6; also given in full in McNevin's Pieces of Irish. History, 
p. 178. See chap, ii., supra, note 45, p. 24. 

ssQuoted by "M.P.," p. 144. 

89Judge Fletcher's Charge was published in pamphlet form, by the 
Irish Press Agency, in 1886. 

9 "The local forces and the constabulary were (oraniously enough) 
under the control of Captain William Venter, Captain Thomas Verner, Mr. 
Getty, and Mr. Thompson. See chap, xiv., infra. 

^^Report of Royal Commission of 1857, p. 8. 

92" M. p./' Hist, of Orangeism, p. 234. 

f -'Wyse, Hist, of the Catholic Association, vol. i., p. 409. Mr W. Kirk, 
a manufacturer residing in Armagh county, deposed before the Seled; Com- 
mittee of 1852 on outrages (Ireland) that in Ulster the Ribbon system of 
twenty years before, was a purely defensive organisation as against the 
Orangemen (Minutes of Evidence, Q. 4381). Similar evidence was given by 



'• But the latter" [the Ribbonmen] , says Molesworth, " had been 
brought into existence by the provocations of the former [the 
Orangemen] ; and though they greatly damaged the cause they 
were intended to serve, and helped by their crimes to keep 
alive the bitter feeling that existed on the other, yet the mis- 
chief they did was not on the same great national scale as 
that inflicfled by the Orange lodges. They were very serious to 
individuals, but they did not materially retard the pacification 
of Ireland, and were sure to disappear when its condition was 
sensibly ameliorated."''^ 

The English Sele(5t ParHamentary Committee of 1835 on 
Orange lodges have the following in their Report to the House 
of Commons: " The obvious tendency and effecl: of the Orange 
institution is [among many other evils indicated] . . . 
to raise up secret societies among the Catholics in their own defence, and 
for their own protection against the insults of the Orangemen.''' With 
their Report they incorporate that of Mr. Innes, a Protestant, 
who was sent by the Lord Advocate of Scotland to inquire into 
the Orange riots which had taken place in Glasgow and else- 
where in Scotland during the course of that year. " Mr. Innes 
states," says the Report, " on authority on which your Com- 
mittee place confidence, that the existence of the Orange 
lodges, their meetings, processions, and proceedings have 
roused an opposition on the part of Catholics to protect themselves from 
the insults offered by the Orangemen, and that secret societies have 
been formed for the purpose, by which the members can be 
called forth at any time, when occasion shall require their 
meeting, to protect themselves against the insults of the Orangemen, 
or be revenged on them." Referring to the scenes of riot and 
bloodshed of 1848, in which various Ulster lodges bore a 
leading part, a writer in the Edinburgh Review of that year 
remarks: "The evil of these exclusive associations is the ill- 
will Avhich they engender, the resistance which they provoke, and the 
counter -associations which they infallibly call into existence ."^^ In 
his evidence before the Derry Royal Commission of i86g, Dr. 
James McKnight told how in the County Down "the Orange 

Fathers McMeel and Lennon (Qq. 2681-2683, 2883-2S84, 3070-3072, 3084- 
3088, 3174-3176, 3512-3517, 3731-3745, etc.). Various Protestant witnesses 
testified to the efforts made by the Catholic clergy to suppress the Ribbon 
society. See, for instance, Qq. 561-569, 2893-2896, 2913-2921, 2935, 3269. 
3270, 3281, 32S3, 3287-3288, 3446-3453. Father McMeel stated that the 
Ribbonmen did not attend mass or their religious duties (Qt, 3 137-3 140), 
Captain Fitzmaurice pointed out that there was no sedtarian feeling against 
Protestants among the Ribbonmen in Limerick and Tipperary (Q. 457), 
and that the juries there did their duties fearlessly (Q. 559). 

^^Hist. 0/ England, vol. i., p. 27S. 

^''Quoted by "M.P-."' Hist, of Orangeism, p. 225. 



processions were very prevalent, and they invariably ended in 
collisions, and bloodshed frequently; and very terrible atroci- 
ties were committed by parties breaking and firing into houses. 
In facfl, the existence of one organisation provokes a defensive 
organisation on the other side."^" "I think," said he, "it is 
the duty of a Government to put down every celebration, 
imperatively, of the historic nature I have described."" Nay, 
more: he considered it "essential to public safety" to make 
their suppression a matter of " imperial policy."^® The eflfedls 
produced by the Orange society on the public peace are thus 
summed up by the Royal Commission appointed to inquire 
into the Belfast riots of 1857: 

" Mr. Gwynne, speaking for the Grand Orange society, 
and expressly sancftioned by the Earl of Enniskillen, announced 
the great principle of the society to be ' Protestantism, loyalty, 
and organisation,' . . . but that this organisation tends 
direcftly to interfere with the peace of this part of the kingdom, 
we think that the history of the transadlions in the North of 
Ireland during the past few years abundantly evidences. And 
these late transcftions in Belfast are a later lesson, making it 
clear to the least observer."^^ Further evidence of its disas- 
trous effedts on the peace of the community will appear as we 

^ ^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5378. 

^''Ibid., Q. 5339. He refers to the Orange demonstrations. 

^^Ibid., Q. 5374. 

^^Reiort, p. 10. 



Chapter XIL 


In legal pracflice, and in discussion generally, a good deal often 
turns on a right understanding of the meaning of words. The 
long dispute between Great Britain and the United States 
over the Alabama case hinged on the meaning of the word 
" equip" in the expression used in international law, "to equip 
a ship of war." He was, then, a wise old logican who said 
that, in dealing with certain disputed points, the first essential 
is right definition of terms; the second, right definition; the 
third, right definition. This necessity is forcibly - brought 
home to the student of history in dealing with the 'mottoes, 
etc., which profess to enunciate the scope of party acflion in 
the sphere of politics. In the case of secret societies, 
especially, watchwords are not infrequently selecfted which are 
in themselves ambiguous (as, for instance, the " dio e il 
POPOLo"^ of an Italian political association) ; in other cases, 
private or party meanings are forced upon the words of the 
motto, as in the case of the " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" 
of the great French Revolution, or the title, " American 
Protective Association," applied to a secret organisation — the 
Orangemen of the United States — whose objeift is a guerilla 
warfare upon the civil rights of their Catholic foUow-citizens.^ 
The reader has already seen how, among secret associations, 

'^This motto, printed in capitals, may either mean "God and the 
People" or "God is the people" or, conversely, "The people is God." 
The word "E" with an accent (so-called) over it (thus e) means "is"; 
without the accent [e) it means "and." In capitals, inscriptions, etc., the 
accent is often omitted, and the public are thus left to judge for themselves, 
in the case before us, whether the basis of the association is theistic or 

'See pp. II-I2, supra. 

241 P 


fine phrases are all too frequently used to cloak designs which 
'it -would be impolitic on their part to openly avow. 
•< 1. 1/, In preceding chapters I have shown that certain of the 
watchwords or " qualifications" of the Orange society are at 
daggers drawn with both the past and current facfts of its 
history. This induces a reasonable suspicion as to the truth 
or sincerity of the remainder of its professions. In dealing 
with the question of Orange loyalty, therefore, nothing can 
be taken for granted. I shall naturally use the term 
" loyalty" in its ordinary accepted meaning, and then proceed 
to examine the claim in the light of the evidence which the 
pages of L.O.L. history place before us. The reader will 
then be in a position to decide whether, and to what extent, 
the oft-repeated Orange claim of undying loyalty is justified 
by facfts. If it is not, it matters little whether Orangemen 
apply a special party meaning to the term in question, or 
whether they use it dire(51:ly to cloak designs which it would 
not be prudent to reveal. In either case, the deception of the 
uninitiated public would be wilful and of set purpose. 

'Archbishop Trench, a standard authority on the history 
and meaning of English words, says : "Loyalty . . . being 
derived from [Fr.] loi, expresses properly the fidelity which one 
owes according to law, and does not necessarily include that 
attachment to the royal person which, happily, we in England 
have been able to throw into the word." Standard didiiionaries 
give to the word both the original and the derived meanings 
referred to by the distinguished Anghcan divine. Webster's 
dictionary has the following in point under the word " loyal": 

" I. Devoted to the maintenance of the law; disposed to 
uphold the constituted authority ; faithful to the lawful Govern- 
ment. ..." 

" 2. Faithful to the Sovereign, either as the maker of the 
law, or as the personal representative of the Government." 

The Orange society — nominally at least — accepts this 
description of loyalty, to its full extent, in the portion of its 
rules which it ventures to place before the pubhc eye. The 
"basis of the institution" has the following: "The Orange 
institution ... is composed of Protestants resolved to support 
and defend, to the utmost of their power, the Protestant religion, 
the laws of the colony, aftd the rightfid Sovereign, being Protes- 

Briefly, then, " loyalty" means, primarily, due subjedtion to 
law and to constituted authority in the State. Its secondary 
meaning is fidelity or attachment to the person of the Sovereign. 
When, therefore. Orange speakers and writers refer to the 
" loyalty" of their association they must, by the very force of 



the word, be understood to mean that, first, and above all, their 
society, as such, has been and is obedient to the law of the 
land and the civil authority; and, secondarily, that it is, and 
has ever been, faithful and attached to the rightful Sovereign. 

If there is one thing in the association that the brethren 
are proud of, it is the unswerving loyalty which, we are told, 
has ever been its chief charadleristic. It is one of the brightest 
jewels in the circling diadem of the score or more of domestic, 
social, and civic virtues which the society professes to cultivate. 
The very title of the association is the " Loyal Orange Insti- 
tution." One of its favourite emblems is the royal crown and 
sceptre over the Bible, with the motto: "These we will main- 
tain."^ At all their demonstrations the dominant note is 
vehement protestations of the undying loyalty which, we are 
assured, permeates the flesh and bone, the life and soul, of the 
whole Orange system. " We [Orangemen] are a law-abiding 
people," said the " Most Worshipful" Grand Master of Vidtoria, 
the Hon. Simon Fraser, M.L.C., at the Melbourne demonstra- 
tion of 1893.* And on the same platform the previous year 
Deputy Grand Master Mr. R. T. Vale, M.L.A., declared: 
" There is no getting away from the facft that we [Orangemen] 
are not only law-abiding, but we insist that everybody else 
shall be law-abiding."^ In good and evil, say the brethren, in 
sunshine and in storm, the society has ever kept one eye fixed 
upon the Crown, the other on the Constitution. The torture 
and massacres of 1797-1799, the uproar against Emancipation, 
Disestablishment, and Parliamentary Reform, the violence and 
bloodshed of the thirties, the armed riots and counter-demon- 
strations of the eighties : these were merely the bubbling over 
of that " exuberance of loyalty" which fills the great throbbing 
heart of the Orange system to the brim. So speak the 
leaders.'' And the multitude of the lesser voices of the Orange 
platform in every land swell the rising chorus of " loyalty, 


A priori, there is something suspicious in the mere superfluity 
and vehemence of these unnecessary protestations of loyalty. 
" The lady doth protest too much, methinks," says Queen Ger- 
trude to Hamlet in the play. Such eager reiteration of self-lauda- 
tory asseverations has been charadf eristic of Ambrose, the pseudo- 

^This emblem and motto occupy the middle space in the title of the 
Victorian Standard, the organ of the Orange lodges of Viftoria. 

^Victorian Standard report, July, 1893, p. 3. 

^Ibid., July, 1892. 

^See chap, xi., supra, note 51 and text, and the present chap., notes 24, 
25 and text. 



devout sharper Gil Bias, of the Tartuffes, the Stigginscs, 
the Pecksniffs, and the whole company of those whose hearts 
do not beat time with their hps. Teufelsdrock's old servant, 
in Sartor Resartus, " scoured and sorted, and swept in the 
kitchen, with the least possible violence to the ear." So, too, 
loyal people are quietly loyal, as brave people are unostenta- 
tiously brave. Sir Henry Lawrence and his fellow-heroes of 
Cawnpore were not the type of men who are given to vapour- 
ing. Your braggart is ever a coward at heart — like evergreen 
old Falstaff, or Captain Terrible, or Don Valiant, or Captain 
Bluff, who (at the village pot-house) won campaigns in 
Flanders, and disdained the acquaintance of any but men of 
courage. There were heroes before Achilles, and there were, 
before the rise of the Orange institution, and still are, untold 
millions — in fadt the vast majority — of law-abiding citizens, 
who do not find it necessary to air their loyalty in the press or 
on the public platform. Loyal submission to constituted 
authority is, perhaps, the most elemental condition of good 
citizenship. It is the partition wall which divides the law- 
abiding subjed: of the Crown from the criminal classes of the 
community. Plain, unromantic, every-day citizens feel them- 
selves bound to so much by the laws of God and man alike. 
They neither demand nor deserve any special credit for it. 
The persistent protestations of the Orange body imply, there- 
fore, one of two things: either (a) that there are elements in 
their loyalty which elevate it to a far higher and nobler form 
than that which makes average good citizens of the great bulk 
of English speaking humanity; or (b) that they alone are loyal 
in the midst of abounding disloyalty. A perusal of the reports 
of the July anniversaries will alone enable the curious reader 
to realise how grateful the brethren are that in this, as in many 
other respe(5ts, they are not as the rest of men.' 


There are three circumstances which — assuming the 
society's professions of loyalty to be well grounded — entitle us 
to expedl that the pages of L.O.L. history should be teeming 
with evidence that the brethren always did " support and 
defend to the utmost of their power " the laws and Constitution 
of their country; 

I. From 1797 to 1835 the Orange society enjoyed great 
political privileges, power, and influence — everything, in a 
word, which made the duty of loyalty easy and pleasant. Its 
adherents found their way into the highest positions in the State. 
Its Imperial Grand Master was, from 1828 to 1836, none other 

'See chap, viii., supra, pp. 151, sqq. 



than H.R.H. the Dukeof Cumberland, whom the Grand Lodge 
termed, in a draft address, " the next to the Throne."® 

2. Orangemen admittedly have no grievances. It is the 
boast of their press and platform that the brethren of the pro- 
vince of Ulster — the cradle and home of the society — are con- 
tented, prosperous, educated, and loyal. ^ Ulster Orangemen 
must, therefore, be comfortable under existing laws. Loyalty 
under the two sets of conditions just named is a very simple 
matter indeed. Disloyalty would, in the circumstances, be the 
extreme of criminal folly. Our sympathy for Rasselas would 
be very much diminished, had he risen in fa(51:ious and violent 
revolt against the authorities of the Happy Valley of Amhara. 
And it is an ungrateful dog that bites the hand which provides 
him with a warm kennel and good meals, with choice mutton 
bones to gnaw between. 

3. Again, the conditions of membership of the institution 
entitles us to expecfl numerous and signal displays of loyalty 
on the part of the brethren during the society's long history of 
over a hundred years. These conditions have been dealt with 
in some detail in the course of the seventh chapter. It will be 
sufficient to recall to the readers recollecftion the following 
points : 

(a) Members are eletfled by a particularly severe form of 
ballot, already described. 

(b) They are subje(5^ to re-ballot, either singly or in whole 

sDraft of address to Carlton Club, 1834, in Report of Pari. Committee 
(English) of 1835. 

^The alleged superiority of Ulster in wealth, prosperity, education, 
contentment, etc., is a favourite theme with Orange writers and speakers. 
See, for instance, the speech of Hon. Mr. Patterson at the Kyneton demon- 
stration, July, 1885 (in Victorian Standard, August, 1885, p. 6); of Rev. R. 
Kane (in Victorian Statidard, 1st May, 1886, p. 10); of Rev. J. J. Browne, 
at the Melbourne demonstration of 1886 (in Victorian Standard, 2nd August, 
1886); the manifesto of the Irish Grand Lodge (in Victorian Standard, 
July, i885); the speech of Deputy Grand Master W. Blackburne at the 
Benalla demonstration, 1892 (reported in Victorian Standard, August, 1892); 
of Grand Master the Hon. S. Eraser, at the Melbourne demonstration, 
July, 1893 (in Victorian Standard of same month); of Past Grand Master 
Bro. Richardson at the Orange banquet to Hon. S. Fraser (in Victorian 
Standard, May, 1894); and so on of many others. It is worthy of note 
that, in every case, the brethren carefully abstain from the use of figures. 
The figment of Ulster's superior wealth has been rudely shattered by the 
ParHamentary returns of 1SS2 and following years. Most of these will be 
found in the Financial Reform Almanac and the Constitutional Year Book ior 
1885. They are carefully analysed in the Contemporary Revieiv for June, 
1893; in the able series of articles written to the Dublin Freeman's Journal 
by a Scotch writer, Mr. Galloway Rigg; in Mr. Clancy's Ulster; in Mr. T. 
M. Healy's Word for Ireland (pp. 155, sqq.); and in a pamphlet by Rev. P. 
O'Doherty, M.R.I. A., The Truth about Ulster (Verga, Melbourne). 



lodges or districfts, at any time and in any way that the Grand 
Lodge may determine. 

(c) The Belfast Royal Commissioners of 1857 asked the 
Earl of Enniskillen, Grand Master of the Inish Orangemen : 
" Do you cause the members, when they commit a breach of 
the rules, to be called before the lodge and expelled from th^e 
society ? " He replied : '^Frovi the lodge, I do, in every instance 
that covies before me.''' ^'^ Orangemen are not alone dismissable, 
but are acflually dismissed, as I have shown, for such apparent 
trifles as " marrying a Papist," " voting against the Grand 
Master," "and other matters which do not seem to be violently 
subversive of the alleged scope of the institution. If the 
cultivation of loyalty be, as it is alleged to be, an essential part 
of the " basis of the institution," we should naturally expedt, 
first, to find that every breach of such a fundamental principle 
of the society is visited with prompt expulsion ; and, secondly, 
that the eledt and dismissable body left should be as sele(5l as 
the noble three hundred who clung to Gideon at Gilead — a 
sort of glorified Quakers, an abstrac5t and example of all that 
is law-abiding in English-speaking humanity. 

{d) The society, which is supposed to admit and retain men 
of tried loyalty only, has existed in its present shape ever since 
September 21, 1795, and must have counted in the course of 
its history many millions of adherents. In the one year, 1835, 
there were scattered throughout the British Empire close on 
half a million of Orangemen. ^^ 

In the circumstances, it is curiously significant that Orange 
speakers and writers so carefully shun all appeal to the 
acknowledged fa(5ts of the society's history in support of this 
oft-repeated claim. ^'^ The reason of this is not far to seek. It 
is simply this : (i) That the evidence of the brethren's loyalty 
is not merely lacking, but that it is lacking just where (if 
credit is to be given to their professions) it ought to be found 
in greatest abundance ; and (2) that the hard facfts of the 
history of this strange survival of the spirit of a past day are 
altogether inconsistent with this claim of constant respedt for 
the law, and attachment to the person of the Sovereign. To 

^^Minutes of Evidence, Q. 8608. 

^^See chaps, v. and vii., supra, pp. 96, sgg., 134, sqg. 

i^Cf. Report of Selecft Parliamentary Committee (English), near end. 

i-'iln the course of a somewhat extended reading of the reports of 
Orange demonstrations and other lodge literature, including the files of the 
Victorian Standard for some thirteen years of its life, the writer cannot 
recall a single attempt by any L.O.L. speaker or writer to prove the loyalty 
of the brethren by an appeal to the vouched fads of history. The same 
statement is true as regards the professions contained in "the qualifications 
of an Orangeman." 



judge from the vehemence and frequency of its protestations, 
Orangeism stands or falls by its loyalty. The prime import- 
ance of the subjedt, when dealing with this association, will, I 
trust, be a sufficient apology for the extended space which has 
been devoted to clearing the ground, and setting the whole 
question in its proper light. 


In the course of this chapter I purpose to briefly glance at 
the leading professions of the Orange society which have a direcfl 
or indire(5t bearing on the subjecft of loyalty. The remaining 
chapters of this volume will be devoted to an examination of 
the manner in which three leading and responsible classes of 
the brethren have supported the law and upheld their allegiance 
to the rightful Sovereign. Orangemen bind themselves bv 
oath, or by solemn declarations which are pracftically equiva- 
lent to an oath, or by the penalty of expulsion, to five chief 
" obligations" which touch the question of loyalty, as defined 

1. Two of these five " obligations" enforce elementary civic 
duties to which every man is already bound, apart from, and 
independent of, oaths, promises, or protestations. They are 
as follow :" 

[a) When called upon, to assist magistrates and the civil 
authorities in the lawful discharge of their duties. 

(b) To avoid secret associations whose objecft is to "subvert" 
the " just prerogatives of the Crown," " the established rights 
of property," etc. 

2. The remainder of the " obligations" entered into by 
the brethren have a rank flavour of disloyalty. They are : 

(a) To bear allegiance to the Sovereign [only] so long as he 
(or she) supports the Protestant ascendency, or so long as he 
(or she) remains Protestant (in the Orange sense of the word). 

(b) To never, in any circumstances, vote for a CathoHc at 
Parliamentary or Municipal elections ; to never vote for a non- 
Orange Protestant unless by the express sancftion of the 
Grand Master or the Grand Lodge ; in all other circumstances 
to vote for Orange candidates only ; and to be ready, on 
occasion, to support them even against the voter's con- 
scientious convidtion — in a word, to be disposed, on all occa- 
sions, to sacrifice the public good to the private jealousies or 
personal ambitions of the Grand Master, or to the secret 
schemes of the Grand Lodge. ^^ 

(c) Not to communicate or reveal "in any manner" "a«_yof 

i*See Appendix B, i?ifr.u 

i^See chap, vii., supra, pp. 136, sqq. 



the proceedings" of the brethren in lodge assembled. In the 
sixth chapter the reader has seen that this " obligation " 
applies to proceedings in courts of justice, and to other forms 
of official inquiry." Orangemen thus solemnly, and with 
religious ceremonies, provide beforehand for future violations 
of the law — after the manner of the old Duke, mentioned by 
De Quincey, who used to say: "On next Friday, by the 
blessing of Heaven, I purpose to be drunk." 


I. The first "obligation" given above — to aid the civil 
authorities, etc., when called upon — is one which every law- 
abiding citizen accepts and a(51:s upon as a matter of course. 
This plain civic duty is, moreover, in many cases (such as 
felony, riot, affray, etc.), enforceable by fine or imprison- 
ment." Law-abiding citizens need no such oath or pro- 
testation. Orangemen have habitually disregared it. It is no 
easy task to find cases in which the brethren, as such, have 
aided the civil authorities in the lawful execution of their duties. 
On the other hand, the instances in which large bodies of the 
brethren, of every degree, have resisted the law and the officers 
of the law, are present in such monotonous profusion as to 
make atflive disloyalty a part of settled policy of the Orange 
association.^® Mr. Sinclair, an Ulster Protestant magistrate, 
deposed as follows before the Parliamentary Selecfl Committee 
of 1835 O" Orange lodges: "I never knew the Orangemen 
of the North of Ireland, or any portion of them, as Orangemen, 
assist in the preservation of the peace, or in the execution 
of the laws. That is my opinion. "^^ The Earl of Gosford, 
another Ulster Protestant witness, testified before the same 
Committee that in the discharge of his duty as Lieutenant of the 
County Armagh, "I have found bodies of them [Orangemen] 
resist the laws. ... I have found them resist the laws, and 
refuse to obey the laws as Orangemen."^" Similar testimony, 
by other Protestant officials, such as Sir Frederick Stoven, 
Captain Duff, Mr. Handcock, J,P,, and others, as well as the 
verdicfts of five Royal Commissions of Inquiry, have been given 

i^See p. 114, supra. 

'^''The Justice's Note-book 6th ed. (1892), pp. 97, 100; Yia-rns's Principles 
of the Criminal Law, 6th ed. (1892), p. 336. It is, for instance, an indidable 
offence to decline, when called upon, to assist a constable in difficulties, 
with anyone in his custody. Rewards are offered, in English law, for the 
arrest of certain classes of criminals by civilians (Harris, pp. 338, 339). 

i^See chaps, x., xi., supra, pp, 205, sqq., 217, sqq., and chaps, xiii., xv., 

^^ Minutes of Evidence, Q. 5 181. 

"^^Ibid,, Q. 3289. Cf. Mr. Handcock's evidence, Q. 8799. 



in the tenth and eleventh chapters of this volume. The nature 
of the " aid" given to the civil authorities by the lodges may be 
briefly summed up as follows :~^ 

(i) Hooting at, and applying offensive epithets to, police, 
police officers, and magistrates, who had dared to do the duty 
required of them by law.-^ 

(2) Defying proclamations by magistrates, mayors, governors 
of counties, and Lords Lieutenant ; organised and long- 
continued violation of A6ls of Parliament, such as the Party 
Processions Adts of 1832, 1850, and i860 ; committing, and 
provoking others to commit, breaches of the peace ; armed 
terrorising of voters at eledtion contests ; organised armed 
resistance to the forces of the Crown : house-wrecking, arson, 
murder ; refusing to give evidence at magisterial or Parlia- 
mentary inquiries; giving false verdidts, etc., in courts of 
justice, etc. In the course of the last two chapters I have 
shown that most, if not all, of these varied forms of law-break- 
ing were connived at or encouraged by the Orange magistracy, 
and were either passed over, or positively commended, by the 
great funcftionaries of the Grand Lodge. Some high officials 
of the order have even discovered that the crimes and mis- 
demeanours of Orangemen are, after all, but evidences of their 
loyalty! One of the most noted members of the fraternity, 
Dr. Duigenan,^ declared in the Irish Plouse of Commons, in 
1798, that what he terms the " excesses" of the early Orange- 
men, although they " could not be justified," "might be ex- 
tenuated by the spirit of loyalty from which they sprung. ''"^ At a 
later date, two grandees who spoke on behalf of the Irish 
institution coo'd even more gently to a stiffnecked House over 
the "loyalty" of the armed Orangemen who, in Ulster, year 
after year, had defied the forces of the Crown, and driven 
coaches-and-four through the provisions of the Party Process- 
ions A(5t. It was the 7th of July, 1870. There was a debate 
in the House of Commons on a Bill introduced by Government 
to restrain all party processions in Ireland. Viscount Crichton 
declared that the Bill " cast an undeserved insult on the 
Orangemen of Ireland — men ivhose only faulty if it were a faulty 

2iSee Reports of Pari. Committees and Royal Commissions, passim, 
and chaps, x., xi., xiii., xv. of this volume. 

■^'-See chap, v., supra, p. 98, and chaps, x., xi. 

2-'»Dr. Duigenan was, early in 1798, a member of lodge No. 176 (Dub- 
lin) of which Sir Jonah Barrington was also a member. Minutes of Evi- 
dence, Pari. Committee of 1835, Q. 9522. In his Rise and Fall of the Irish 
Nation (2nd ed., chap, xv., pp. 229-233), Sir Jonah details Duigenan's lack 
of principle, and his "outrageous" and "unreasonable" bigotry against 
Catholics. See also Curran and his Contemporaries, by Charles Phillips. 

24Plowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd , p. 8;: 



was a slight exiihevance of loyalty.''"^ During the same debate 
Lord Claude Plamilton, one of the leading sympathisers of 
the Irish institution, objecSted to the bill on behalf of the 
Orangemen of Ireland : it was, said he, " an insult to those 
who, however injiidicioits, were still loyal. "^'^ I rtave already 
quoted the bitter complaint made by the Daily Express, the 
chief organ of the Irish lodges, against the Queen's troops for 
" charging and cutting down [Orange] rioters who are urged on 
to riot by loyalty.'"'^'' To the present day the Orange portions of 
Ulster witness, July after July, that " slight exuberance of 
loyalty" which an Irish Chief Secretary termed " the annual 
specimen of civil war"^^ : they become an armed camp, into 
which great forces of police and military are drafted, at 
enormous expense to the ratepayers, to minimise, if they 
cannot altogether prevent, the disastrous conflidfs and wreck- 
ings which result from those ill-timed celebrations of party 

ih) A further word as to the Orangeman's " obligation" 
to avoid secret associations whose objedl is to subvert the 
established rights of property, etc.: There is nothing in this 
pledge which entitles the society to even the small distin(5lion 
of an "honorable mention" for loyalty, (i) Every citizen is 
bound to avoid such associations, by the law of conscience, 
and by the gentle suasion of the hangman's rope or of the 

25Hansard, Third Series, vol. ccii., p. 16S4. In 1884 Viscount Cnch- 
ton had risen to the dignity of Deputj' Grand Master for Ireland. 

"^^Ibid., p. 1690. It has been stated that arms were "very secretly' 
issued by the authorities of Dublin Castle to some of the Belfast lodges 
in anticipation of the abortive rising of 1848. This has been advanced by 
an Orange writer who published a pamphlet at Ballarat in 1867 or 1868 as 
conclusive proof of the recognition of the loyalty of the association by the 
Government of the day. But" (i) there is no conclusive evidence that the 
authorities at Dublin Castle issued arms, as stated. (2) Lord Clarendon, 
the viceroy, "denied all knowledge of the shipment of muskets to the 
Belfast Orangemen" (Mitchel, Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., chap, xxv., p. 262. 
note). (3) Even had such an incident occurred, it would not necessarily 
imply an official recognition of the loyalty of the lodges, but rather a dis- 
position to make use of their well-known fanaticism, as was done in 1796- 
1798. (4) Reference to chaps, vi., x., xi., xiv., xv. of this volume will suffi- 
ciently indicate to the reader the idea which the British Parliament and 
Government officials entertained of the "loyalty" of the Orange associa- 
tion. (5) Lord Clarendon refused to acknowledge the Orangemen as such 
in 1848, or to supply them as such, with arms when Dublin was supposed 
to be threatened by the Young Ireland party. Such of the brethren as 
chose joined the volunteers then being raised by Captain Kennedy. Their 
weapons had to be afterwards paid for out of Captain Kennedy's own 
pocket. {Inis-Owen andTirconnell, by William James Doherty, pp. 377-378). 

'^''Daily Express, January 3, 1884. 

2 8Mr. Chichester Fortescue in the House of Commons, debate on 
Party Processions Bill, March 14, 1870. Hansard of date, p. 1888. 



convi(5l's ball and chain. (2) Catholics are, moreover, for- 
bidden to join any secret society, under serious ecclesiastical 
penalties, which include that of excommunication. (3) The 
Orange society is, as we have seen, a secret one. (4) I have 
shown, in the fourth chapter, that it was inaugurated by a 
wholesale violation of the " established rights of property." 
The wrecking, destrudtion, and plundering of the property of 
Catholics were carried on over a large area of Ulster from 1795 
to 1797 ; they were renewed in other parts of Ireland in 1798 ; 
they have been continued ever since on a smaller scale, and at 
frequent intervals, in the wrecking of Catholic houses, vill- 
ages, etc., some details of which have been given in the 
eleventh chapter. The events which took place at Dolly's 
Brae in 1849; at Derrymacash in i860; at Derry so late as 
1869 and 1883 ; in Toronto and other parts of Canada from 
1871 to 1878 f^ the state of civil war which desolated Belfast 
in 1857, 1864, and 1886; all prove that the wild spirit which 
animated the first lodges in 1795- 1797, still exists, in fierce 
potential energy, in the centres of Orange life and acfiivity. 


2. There is, perhaps, no loyalty echo of the July platforn 
so constant and far-resounding as that of the unswerving 
devotion of the brethren to the occupant (for the time being) of 
the British Throne. This is the Koh-i-noor in the circlino- 
diadem of the society's graces. To one who, with a faith that 
is simple and child-like, can accept the "basis of the institution" 
and the " qualiiications of an Orangeman," the contrast 
between the official professions and the official pracftices of the 
society must present a series of riddles as unreadable as the 
y^lia Lcelia Cvispis of Bologna, The claim of loyalty to the 
Throne presents, perhaps, the crowning enigma of them all, for 
it touches the two following fundamental principles of the 
Orange association : 

(rt) A main purpose of the society is to glorify a successful 
revolution which dethroned a de jure English king (James IL), 
and placed the British crown on the head of a Dutchman. 

(&) The Orange oath or solemn protestation of allegiance 
to the Sovereign has ever been, and is to the present day, 
expressly conditional and temporary. 

In his charge to the Wexford Grand Jury in 18 14, Judge 
Fletcher (a Protestant) puts the following words in the mouth 
of the typical Orangeman of his day, whom he describes as a 
" mere pretender to loyalty " : " ' I am a loyal man in times of 
tranquility ; I am attached to the present order of thing?; so 

'^^See chap, i., supra, pp. 10, 12 and chap, xi 

25 T 


far as I can get any good by it ; I malign every man of a 
different opinion from those whom I serve: I bring my loyalty 
to market.' Such loyalty has borne higher or lower prices, 
according to the different periods of modern times. He [the 
Orangeman] exposes it for sale in open market, at all times, 
seeking continually for a purchaser." The price demanded 
for this pinchbeck loyalty, by the Orange society's rules of 
1800, was expressed in the following terms : 

" I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely swear, of my own free 
will and accord, that I will, to the utmost of my power, 
support and defend the present King, George the Third, his 
heirs and successors, so long as he or they support the Protestant 
ascendency. "^° 

" He who serves queens may expecfl: backsheesh." Thus 
speaks Darkush in Disraeli's Tancred. Orangemen stipulated, 
and still stipulate, for backsheesh as a condition previous to 
service. The upset price which they placed on their con- 
ditional allegiance in 1800 was a distindTily high one, as may 
be seen by reference to the definite meaning attached at the 
close of the last century to the words " Protestant ascend- 
ency." It was clearly explained in a manifesto issued in 
1792 by the Protestant Lord Mayor, sheriffs, commons, and 
citizens of Dublin to their co-religionists in Ireland. It is 
given in a work by the Orange writer, Musgrave, and contains 
the following lines : 

" And that no doubt may remain of what we understand 
by the words Protestant ascendency, we have further resolved 
that we consider the Protestant ascendency to consist in : 

" A Protestant King of Ireland, 

" A Protestant Parliament, 

" A Protestant Hierarchy, 

" Protestant elecflors and Government ; 

" The benches of justice, 

" The army and the revenue, 

" Through all their branches and details, Protestant ; 

" And this supported by a connexion with the Protestant 
realm of Great Britain. "'^^ 

Orangeman, briefly, bound themselves by a solemn oath, 
taken on their knees, not to exchange their " loyalty " at a 
less price than the following : 

I. A stridf and/^T/jf/^rt/monopoly of place, power, and pelf 

»oAppendix to Report of Parliamentary Committee (Irish) of 1S35 on 
Orange lodges. 

3iMusgrave, Memoirs of the Different Rebellious, Appendix, p. 12. Cf. 
Godkin, The Land War in Ireland, pp. 261, sqq. For the meaning then, and 
even still, attached to the word "Protestant" in Ireland, see p. SC, supra. 



for themselves and their co-religionists. This included a 
monopoly of the elecftoral roll ; of the making and administration 
of the law ; of the army, navy, and civil service ; and generally, 
of every position of honour and emolument in the State. 
These conditions of sale necessarily involved the following : 

2. That the penal laws should be kept in force against 
their Catholic fellow-countrymen till the end of time ; that all 
Catholics and Dissenters — that is to say, over five-sixths of the 
population — should be deprived of a place on the eledloral roll, 
and on the bench ; denied any share whatever in the making 
or administration of the law ; and be absolutely excluded from 
every office of honour or emolument under the State : their 
chief use, to pay taxes, to furnish funds for Orange placemen, 
to be helots and serfs, hewers of wood and drawers of water, 
in their own land, until the crack of doom. 

Conditions such as these would turn Ireland into an Orange 
El Dorado, where a very small investment of " loyalty " would 
bring in wholesale returns of power, place, and shining shekels, 
guaranteed in perpetuity by the State. Such conditions exist, 
to a certain extent, in the two chief centres of Irish Orangeism 
— Belfast and Derry- — where the brethren and their co- 
religionists enjoy pra(5tically a monopoly of positions of emolu- 
ment in the gift of public bodies, and where Catholics have 
been, almost up to the present hour, systematically deprived 
of some of the benefits of the Emancipation A(ft. Never- 
theless, the Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the great riots 
of 1857, 1864, i86g, 1883, and 1886, have failed to find that the 
Orange brethren of Belfast and Derry have been at any time 
conspicuous for either patriotism or loyalty. In Derry city, in 
i8gi, the Catholic population numbered 18,346; the Protestants, 
14,860 ; yet, owing to the facfl that the registration and revision 
of voters' lists are largely m the hands of officials who are, 
themselves, either Orangemen or of most pronounced Orange 
sympathies. Catholics have been excluded, almost to the 
present hour, from representation in the Corporation, and 
from any participation in salaried offices that are in the gift of 
its elective public bodies. An almost exadlly similar state of 
things has existed at Belfast, where the Catholics were in 1891 
over a fourth (26.3 per cent.) of the population. ^^ These two 
hoary public scandals existed until the close of i8g6, when 
Parliament at last passed special AcSts for the purpose of giving 
members of the proscribed creed in the two chief centres of 
Orange a(5tivity some small voice in the Corporations, and of 
putting a limit to a traditional exhibition of intolerance such 

3'^See Appendix A, infra. 



as is happily quite unknown in tlie portions of Ireland where 
Catholics are in the ascendent. Orangemen undoubtedly lay 
themselves open to the charge of making their association the 
means of securing for themselves an undue share of the loaves 
and fishes that are in the gift of the State or of elecflive 
public bodies. In the course of the eighth chapter extracts 
have been given to show that the narrow and exclusive spirit 
which prevails in Derry and Belfast has found an echo in the 
Orange press and on the Orange platform in Australia.^ 
Reference to the seventh chapter of this book will show that 
there is, perhaps, no class of members of the institution so 
open to the suspicion of axe-grinding as the politicians of the 
order.*** The following extradi: from the Report of the English 
Parliamentary Seledl Committee of 1835 will give some idea 
of the extent to which even the rank and file of Orangemen 
have regarded the society as a means of personal advancement: 

'" It appears by the correspondence [of the Grand Lodge] 
that the institution has been considered by some Orangemen 
as a source of patronage, and there are various applications 
from the brethren for the influence and assistance of the 
dignitaries of the Imperial Grand Lodge (which influence and 
assistance appear frequently to have been used) to procure 
licenses for public-houses, pensions in the artillery, and situ- 
ations in the police and in the docks ; and these applications 
appear to have increased to such an extent that the Deputy 
Grand Secretary intimates in the printed circular of the 
proceedings of the Imperial Lodge, held on the i6th April, 
1833, 'that the duties of the Deputy Grand Secretary are so 
irksome and onerous as compels him {sic\ to notify that his 
labours will not admit the additional toils imposed by applica- 
tions for patronage and places, which are pouring in upon him 
daily. To so oppressive an extent have such importunities 
been carried as to be sufficient to engross the whole attention 
of one individual to read (far less to investigate the merits of) 
memorials and petitions, with the prayers of which neither the 
illustrious Grand Master nor the Deputy Grand Master has the 
power of complying.' " Miss Martineau tells how even clergy- 
men were invited by circular to join the association, because 
their doing so might lead to patronage and preferment/"' 

The old cry of " Protestant ascendency" is not even yet 
quite dead. It was kept up by the Irish lodges — mingled 
with seditious threats to the Queen — until the Disestablish- 
ment Bill was passed in i86g. To this day such allegiance as 

s^See chap, viii., supra, pp. 162-163, ^^'^ preface. 

^*See pp. 134, sqq. 

^'^Thc Thirty Years' Peace, vol. ii. , p. 274. Cf. Irish Report, Qq- 3536-3537, 


Orangemen offer to the throne is conditional on the Queen and 
her successors "being Protestant"*' — in the Orange sense of 
the word ; for the reader has already seen, in the course of the 
fifth chapter, that mere belief in the Thirty-nine Articles, or in 
the Westminster Confession, is not sufficient to constitute 
Protestantism as it is understood in the lodges.^' Orangemen, 
then, not only demand a price, or condition, for their allegiance 
to the Throne ; but their oath or declaration of loyalty is so 
worded as to indicate in them a frame of mind which, in given 
and very possible circumstances, is ever ripe for another and, 
perhaps, not very "glorious revolution." The Cumberland 
conspiracy was a case in point. Detailed reference to it will 
be found in the closing chapter of this volume. 


Briefly : No one acquainted with the early history of the 
Orange movement will pretend that either a law-abiding or a 
religious spirit was the motive of its foundation, or of the wild 
orgie of plunder, wrecking, and bloodshed with which it was 
inaugurated. It would be a severe strain upon our faith to ask 
us to believe that loyalty was the guiding motive of the acflions 
of a violent mob, composed of the lowest orders in Armagh 
county in 1795, who were variously described by Protestant 
officials, statesmen, and writers, in such terms as the follow- 
ing :*^ " Crowds of miscreants," "the very scum of society, and 
a disgrace to Protestantism," "a lawless banditti," "a 
banditti of murderers," " a banditti of plundering ruffians," 
"a violent mob," "an ungovernable mob," "insurgents," 
" northern rebels whose barbarity exceeded that of modern 
times, and brought back the recollec5tion of ancient ferocity and 
bloodshed," etc. The early Orangemen were not exacftly the 
class of men to whom we should look for a high degree of 
loyal submission to law, or of allegiance to the head of the 
State. It matters not what view the reader may take as to the 
aggressive or defensive attitude of the Peep-o'-Day Boys, or of 
the first Orangemen, at or before the so-called "battle" of the 
Diamond— to them as bloodless as a French duel, to the 
Defender party so sanguinary. No sane person will hint, and 
no writer — Orange or otherwise — that I am acquainted with, 
has hinted that the " papering," intimidation, house- wrecking, 
arson, plunder, persecution, bloodshed, and extermination of 
the Cathohcs of Armagh county by the first Orangemen, had 
their source in loyalty — in respecfl for law or order, or in regard 

=^6See ritual and Rules in Appendices B and C. 
3'7Pp. 99-101, supra. 
^^See pp. 61-63. 



for the constitutional, or even natural, rights of their fellow- 
citizens. Only the most extreme partisan of the lodges will 
venture to contend that the outrages of the Orange proces- 
sionists of a later day, their defiance of proclamations, Acfts ot 
Parliament, and violent resistance to the forces of the Crown, 
are evidence of their conspicuous loyalty. On such matters 
there can be prac5lically no dispute. Here, then, I part com- 
pany with the rude rank and file of the lodges of a later day, 
as well as with the " lawless banditti" and the " scum of 
society" that first bore the name of Orangemen. I now fly for 
higher game, and come to three highly selec51: secftions of the 
Orange body, namely : 

1. The Orange soldiery, and especially the yeomanry, who 
were enrolled, armed, and paid by Government to (ostensibly 
at least) " support and defend to the utmost of their power" the 
laws and Constitution of their country. 

2. Orange magistrates and jurymen, whose duty it was and 
is to administer even-handed justice according to law. 

3. The officers of the institution, and more especially the 
members of Grand Lodge, who had, and have, supreme 
control over the membership and policy of the Orange society. 

Assuming Orange professions of loyalty to be sincere, the 
position of these three classes of members, and the nature of 
their duties, would entitle us to expet51: from them, of all others, 
quite an exceptional degree of dutiful subjecftion to law, orc'er, 
and constituted authority, and a deep, devoted, and unfailing 
attachment to the person of the Sovereign of the realm. 

In dealing with the question of lodge loyalty, one naturally 
turns to the Orangeism of Ulster as the model and exemplar of 
the true spirit and pracflice of the association. In Ulster 
Orangeism arose. There, amidst congenial surroundings, it 
reached its highest development. It has existed there ever 
since 1795. The days of its first glory are over, but Orangemen 
throughout the world still look to Ulster, as the pious Moslem 
turns his head to the East. Armagh is the cradle of their 
institution ; Belfast is its capital ; Derry its holy city. Ulster 
Orangeism may be fairly taken as a test and earnest of what 
its Australasian offshoots may, under favouring circumstances, 
come to be. The reader has already seen that the Canadian 
association has proved itself a worthy child of the parent from 
which it sprung. 



Chapter XIIL 


One of the heavy-fisted, blood-letting old Ossianic heroes 
called to his bard : 

" Sing me a song : a song 
With a sword in every line." 

This spirit of strife finds an echo in some of the books of songs 
and ballads that are issued for the use of Orangemen. Almost 
every page of them smells rank of blood and slaughter. Several 
lodge " poets" found a theme to inspire their limping measures 
in the shocking massacre committed by armed Orangemen at 
Dolly's Brae, in 1849, while the stricken people were still 
reeling from the effecfts of the great famine.^ Another bard 
devotes six verses to the glories of "the gallant Orange 
yeomanry," who fought in the insurrecftion of 1798.^ The first 
and fourth stanzas run as follow : 

Air : " Partant pour la Syrie." 
" I am an humble Orangeman — 
My father he was one ; 
The mantle which the sire once wore 

Has fallen to his son : 
He ranked with those who quelled their foes — 

The foes of Church and State — 
The gallant Orange Y''eomanry 
Who fought in Ninety-eight 1 

iSee chap, xi., supra, pp. 222-225. Two verses of the song on Dolly's 
Brae are given in "M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, p. 231. Grand Chaplain 
Drew termed the massacre a " victory. " Ibid., p. 230. Another rhymster 
sings the glories of Dolly's Brae, with the inspiring refrain, " Derry down, 
down, down, Derry down," in the Victorian Standard, April 30, 1897. 

2From a volume of Orange songs, etc., edited by D. G. M. William 
Johnston of Ballykilbeg. 

257 Q 


" To guard the faith which Luther preached — 

The rights which William won, 
The Orangeman relies upon 

His Bible and his gun.^ 
He prays for peace, yet war will face, 

Should rebels congregate ; 
Like the brave Orange Yeomanry 

Who fought in Ninety-eight." 

Such is the Orange yeoman of the lodge poet. The 
purpose of this chapter is to see him as he was in life ; to find 
out how far a sense of religion, of loyalty to the State, of 
dutiful obedience to its laws, were the guiding motives of his 
condu(fl in the days of peace, as well as in the stirring times 
of war. 

The Irish yeomanry forces, long since disbanded, played in 
their day a leading, if not an altogether creditable, part in the 
drama of the social and political life of their country. This 
force was organised in the end of 1796, under the following 
ominous circumstances: 

1. The extermination policy of the early Orange lodges 
had not as yet spent its first fury in Armagh, Tyrone, and the 
neighbouring counties. The North was, mainly in consequence 
of these outrages, in a state of great disturbance. 

2. Government had entered upon a policy which, in the 
words of Lecky, was " strongly anti-Catholic."^ {a) Emanci- 
pation and Parliamentary Reform had been definitely refused. 
\b) Steps were being taken to effecSt Pitt's pet projecft of a 
Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland. The 
two first-named measures could not for long be safely refused, 
nor could the third be easily carried, in the face of a nation 
so strong in its unity of creeds and classes as Ireland was at 
the fateful period when the foundation of the first Orange lodge 
was laid in blood. 

3. The policy of the Government required that the growing 
union between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland should be 
replaced by a strife of creeds or parties. This was an indis- 
pensable condition of success. Hence, as the contemporary 
historian, Plowden, remarks, " great efforts were made [by the 
Government] to fester the soreness of the Catholics, and to 
inflame the differences between the Protestants and them." 

sThis line recalls Cromwell's advice to his soldiers, when crossing a 
river in Ireland: "Put your trust in God, but mind to keep your powder 
dry." Colonel Blacker (mentioned in chap, iii., supra) wrote an Orange 
song with Cromwell's words as a refrain. Irish Minstrelsy, p. 326 ("Canter- 
bury Poets" Series). 

*^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 473. 



Pitt's projecfl of a Legislative Union would, moreover, have 
been notably facilitated by an unsuccessful rebellion in Ireland. 
He, therefore, took effecflive measures to provoke it. The 
reader will see, as we proceed, that the Orange yeomanry were 
his chief instruments in goading the people into insurredlion. 

4. The elements of disunion and secftarian strife lay ready 
and waiting among the lodge brethren who, ever since September 
21, 1795, had been carrying on a war of wholesale proscription 
against the Catholic population in Armagh, Tyrone, and the 
counties round about. The Government of the day entered 
into relations with the Orangemen in the following ways : 

(a) By conniving at, or (as Lord Altamont and others 
declared at the time) dive6lly encouraging the Orange outrages in 

[h) By supplying the brethren with money and arms. This 
had begun as early as the spring of 1796,® while the Orangemen 
were in the full career of their early outrages on the Catholic 
population of the North. 


The formal enrolment of the yeomanry took place in the 
end of 1796. Three features of the movement are deserving of 
particular attention, namely : 

1. The enrolment was carried out principally in Ulster ','' 

2. Those enrolled in the yeomanry corps were mostly 
Orangemen ; 

3. This " alliance" (as Lecky terms it) between the 
Government and the Orange party " added greatly to the 
anarchy of the North, and had ultimately a most serious 
influence on the remainder of Ireland,"® which was at the time 
in a comparatively peaceful state. ^ 

Under the favouring smile of the Government, country 
gentlemen now began to join the hitherto discredited Orange 
association. This accession of fresh blood to its ranks, how- 
ever, effecfled no change in the violent and distinctively anti- 
Catholic chara(5ter of the society. It still, says Lecky, 
" included in its ranks all the most intolerant and fanatical 
Protestantism of the province [of Ulster] , and it inherited 
from its earlier stage traditions and habits of violence and 

^Ibid., vol. iii., pp. 441, 446, etc. 

^Vloviden, Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. G9-70. One of 
the printed resolutions of a meeting of Orangemen in the town of Armagh 
declared that the two guineas per man allowed them by the Government 
were not sufficient to purchase clothes and accoutrements. 

''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 474. 

^Ibid., vol. iv., p. 47. See also chap, ii., supra, p. 26, note 54. 

^Ibid., vol. iii., p. 474. See also chap, ii., supra, pp. 24-25. 



outrage, which its new leaders could not wholly suppress, and 
which the anarchy of the time was well fitted to encourage."" 
The situation was still further aggravated by the following 
facfl : The undisciplined facftionists, now armed, paid, and "let 
loose," as Lecky says, upon the homes of Ulster, were for 
the most part members of the very organisation (the Orange 
society) which was at that moment, and had been for over 
a year beforehand, engaged in a furious persecution of 
Catholics, such as, according to Lecky, had never been known 
in Ireland since the days of Cromwell." The early Ulster 
yeomanry, says the same Protestant writer, consisted " to a 
large extent of the most violent Protestants," who " had been 
inflamed to the highest pitch of animosity against their Catholic 
fellow-countrymen."^^ Lord Downshire, who was engaged in 
enrolling the new force near Newry, wrote to the Government 
that the yeoman infantry " are chiefly Orangemen, and all agree 
in not admitting a Papist, however recommended."^" From the 
very beginning the force was, according to Lecky, "largely com- 
posed of men with Orange sympathies."^* Some large bodies 
of yeomanry were made up exclusively of avowed Orangemen. ^^ 
The Orange writer, Musgrave, says that "in the counties of 
Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry, and Armagh, there were 14,000 
yeomen, and most of them Orangemen."" In his Stridiitres on 

^°Ibid., vol. iv., p. 49. Referring to its "new leaders" Plowden says 
that several magistrates who had "connived at and encouraged" the 
Armagh outrages, " were rewarded with commands in the yeomanry corps." 
Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 63. 

^''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 446. 
^^Ibid., p. 473. 

i3Quoted by Lecky, ibid. Lord Downshire says "their condition 0/ 
service is, that no Papist should be enrolled with them " (ibid.). A few 
Catholics at first joined the ranks, and Catholics in the South and West, 
during the French invasion scare, formed Volunteer corps to meet the 
temporary need. The enlistment of Catholics in the Government yeo- 
manry forces was, however, from the first distindtly discouraged. Some 
Catholics waited on Secretary Pelham, the friend of the Armagh Orange 
wreckers, and requested permission to form a Catholic yeomanry corps. 
Permission was refused : they were told to join the Protestant corps then 
in course of formation. The reludlance with which the few Catholic 
yeomen were received, coupled with the Orange and violently anti-Catholic 
charadter of the new force, deterred members of the persecuted creed 
generally from joining (Plowden's Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 
70). In the circumstances, it is no wonder that, as Lecky says, the 
Catholic Committee strongly discouraged their co-religionists from enlist- 
ing (Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, iii., 473). A few Catholic yeomen, 
however, remained and fought during the insurredlion (ibid., iv., 331, 337). 
In Wexford they were disarmed and disgraced (Mitchel Hist Ireland, vol. i., 
chap. xxxv). 

'^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 48. 

^^Ihid., p. 55. 

^^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, p. 194. 



Plowden (p. 155) he says the Orangemen from the very first 
"formed by far the most considerable part of the yeomanry." 
Plowden, likewise a contemporary writer, says that the 
yeomanry corps (except that of the lawyers) were " composed 
of the most acflive and prominent members of the society of 
Orangemen," and that "by far the greatest and most mis- 
chievous part" of that force belonged to the same association." 
Referring to the period immediately preceding the insurrecftion 
of 1798, the Protestant historian Walpole says that the 
yeomanry " was composed almost entirely of Orangemen."^® 
Froude— who is as violent a partisan of the Orange society as 
was Musgrave — states that " by the spring of 1797 they could 
place twenty thousand men at the disposition of the authori- 
ties. In 1798 they filled the ranks of the yeomanry,"^'' 
According to a return presented to Parliament by Lord 
Castlereagh just after the Acft of Union was passed, the 
various yeomanry corps in Ireland, in the year 1800, num- 
bered 53,557 men. 


I. In the Irish mind, the Orange yeomanry will be ever 
chiefly associated with the part they took in first provoking, 
and afterwards suppressing, the memorable insurredlion of 
1798. The course of this chapter will show how far in this, 
as in subsequent events up to the date of their supression, 
their condudt was consistent with a loyal submission to law or 
constituted authority, or with a due regard for the legal and 
natural rights of their "Roman Catholic brethren." The 
history of that dark period of crime and woe has brought into 
clear light the three following fadls : 

1. The promoting of this abortive rising was not merely 
the predicfted and calculated effed; of Pitt's Irish policy. It 
was its set and deliberate purpose. 

2. The insurredtion of 1798 was but a means to a further 
end : namely, to smooth the way towards effecfting the great 
purpose of Pitt's later years, the securing of a Legislative 
Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 

3. The Orange yeomanry were the chief instruments in the 
crime of goading the people into insurrection. Painful as must 
be the tale of the slow and uniform agony of a people, in every 
true history of the Orange yeomanry such a tale must hold a 
conspicuous place. 

Writing of Pitt's Irish policy, the Protestant Unionist 
historian, Lecky, says: ^^ The steady object of his {PiiV s) latev 

^'' Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 70, 73. 

^^Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xvii p. 467. 

^^EngUsh in Ireland, vol. iii., pp. 178-179 (ed. 1887). 



Ivish policy was to corrupt and to degrade, in order that he ultimately 
might destroy, the Legislature of the country. . . . By raising 
the hopes of the Catholics almost to certainty, and then dash- 
ing them to the ground, by taking this step at the very 
moment when the inflammatory spirit engendered by the 
[French] Revolution had begun to spread among the people, 
Pitt sowed in Ireland the seeds of discord and bloodshed, of 
religious animosities and social disorganisation, which paralysed 
the energies of the country aud rendered possible the success 
of his machinations. The rebellion of 1798, withall the accumulated 
miseries it entailed, was the direct and predidled consequence of his 
policy. Lord Fitzwilliam had solemnly warned the Government 
that to disappoint the hopes of the Catholics ' would be to 
raise a flame in the country that nothing but the force of arms 
could keep down.' Lord Charlemont, though on principle 
opposed to the Catholic claims, declared that the recall of 
Lord Fitzwilliam would be ruinous to Ireland, and foretold 
that by the following Christmas the people might be in the 
hands of the United Irishmen."^ 

Sir Jonah Barrington, a member of the ascendency party, 
bears similar testimony. Writing of the insurredliion of 1798, 
he says : " Mr. Pitt's end was answered. He thus^^ raised the 
Catholics to the height of expedtation, and by suddenly recall- 
ing their favourite Viceroy he inflamed them to the degree of 
generating the commotions he meditated, which would throw 
the Protestants into the arms of England for protedlion, whilst 
the horrors would be aggravated by the mingled conflidl: of 
parties. "^^ A little further on in the same work he writes : 
" Mr. Pitt, having sent Lord Fitzwilliam to Ireland, with un- 
limited powers to satisfy the nation, permitted him to proceed 
until he had unavoidably committed himself both to the 
Catholics and the country, when he suddenly recalled him, 
leaving it in a state of excitement and dismay. The day Lord 
Fitzwilliam arrived, peace was proclaimed throughout all 
Ireland ; the day he quitted it she prepared for insurrecftion. 
. . . Within three months after Lord Fitzwilliam's dis- 
missal, Lord Clare had got the nation into training for military 
execution'"^ "Mr. Pitt," says the same author, "counted on 
the expertness of the Irish Government to effe6i a premature 
explosion. Free quarters were now ordered, to irritate the 
Irish population. Slow tortures were inflidled under the 

20Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinmt, ed. 1871, pp. 146-147. 
2iBy sending Lord Fitzwilliam to Ireland as Viceroy, with a promise 
of Catholic Emancipation. 

■^■iRise and Fall of the Irish Nation, ed. 1844, pp. 345-346- 
^^Ibid., pp. 346-347- 



pretence of forcing confessions. The people were goaded and 
driven to madness. . . . Mr. Pitt's objecft was now 
effedted, and an insurre(5tion was excited. "^^ 

At the examination of Dr. McNevin in 1798, Lord Castle- 
reagh remarked: " You acknowledge the Union [United Irish 
Society] would have been stronger hut for the means taken to 
make it explode.''^^ 

Lord Camden, who succeeded Lord Fitzwilliam as Viceroy, 
and who carried out the policy of forcing the people into 
insurre(5lion, admitted in the House of Lords that " the 
measures of the Government caused the rebellion to break out 
sooner than it otherwise would. "^^ The Secret Committee of 
the House of Lords, which subsequently inquired into 
all the circumstances of the rising, said in their Report: 
" It appears from a variety of evidence laid before your Com- 
mittee that the rebellion would not have broken out as soon as 
it did, had it not been for the well-timed measures adopted by 
the Government."^'' The chief measures referred to were the 
following : 

1. Putting into operation the provisions of the Insurrecftion 
and Indemnity Acfts. These A6\.s conferred on magistrates 
unlimited powers to search houses for arms, to arrest, imprison, 
or transport men on board tenders, without any proper form of 
trial. The justices were, moreover, protecfled by the Indem- 
nity Acfi: from theconsequencesof such outrages and illegalities 
as they had committed, or might in future commit. These 
AcTts were passed, as Grattan said in the Irish House of 
Commons, " to legalise outrage, to barbarise law, and to give 
the law itself the cast and colour of outrage."-** 

2. The suspension of the Habeas Corpus Acft. When this 
took place, " Ireland," says Mitchel, " stood utterly stripped 
naked of all law and ^vernment."'-'^ There was likewise a 
Curfew Aa.^ 

^^Ibid., p. 351. The capitals are Barrington's. 

2 •"> McNevin, Pieces of Irish History, p. 203. 

36Quoted in The Truth about Ninety-eight, London, 1886, p. 8. 

^'Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 289. 

28Mitchel, Hist. 0/ Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxix., p. 226. 

■2^ Ibid. 

soThe Curfew Adt required people, under penalty, to be in their 
houses and to have all lights extinguished soon after sunset every night. 
Lights were not permitted to persons watching with the sick. The Orange 
yeomanry and other troops, by their nightly raids, their burning of cottages, 
and their habit of calling people to their doors and shooting them, made it 
unsafe to comply with the first provision of the Curfew Ad: mentioned 
above. At the same time they punished the violation of it with burning, 
torture, or death. The following is from a proclamation by General 
Derham in Belfast, /my to the insurrection : "This is to give notice, that ii 



3. The proclamation of martial law, and the placing of 
mihtary at free quarters among the people. These were, of all 
others, the special " well-timed measures" referred to in the 
Report of the Secret Committee. They resulted in the out- 
break of outrage, torture, and bloodshed, which drove the 
unhappy people into the ill-starred insurrecftion of 1798. In 
the midst of these scenes we frequently come across the 
Orangeman with a uniform on his back, and a flintlock in his 
hand. It will be interesting, as well as instrucftive, to watch 
his condudf under arms. The ordinary Tommy Atkins is 
required, as a sheer matter of course, to obey the civil law, plus 
the military regulations. He does not rave upon the stage 
about his loyalty, but is satisfied to prove it by his fidelity to 
the quiet duties of barrack or camp, and by his bravery on the 
blood-stained field. The Orange yeoman boasted of his loyalty 
quite as much as the Orange civilian. Assuming his profes- 
sions to have been sincere, we should look to him for a signal 
display of devotion to law and authority, and to the Sacred 
Word of Truth, which it was ever his chief duty to maintain. 
His corps was pracftically an Orange lodge — a picked body of 
sworn loyalists — held in the iron grip of military regulations. 
His officers were frequently the elite of the Purple Order, with 
power, not merely to expel for the high crime of " marrying a 
Papist," but also to compel respecfl to civil law, and obedience 
to military regulations, by the gentle suasion of the triangle 
and the cat-o'-nine tails. Such a combination of circumstances 
ought to have made the Irish Orange yeomanry models of 
every soldierly grace and virtue, the joy of their officers, the 
pride of Parliament and the nation — in a word, uniformed 
embodiments of the " qualifications of an Orangeman." 


It is the misfortune, if not the fault, of the Orange soldiery, 
that they have left few traces of their virtues in the period of 
which I write. Their vices, on the other hand, were many, 
and worked in deep grooves, which have left their mark upon 
their country's history to this day. The worst terrors of this 
dark period of crime and woe will be ever chiefly associated in 
the Irish mind with the names of the following military 
organisations : 

1. The Orange yeomanry ; 

2. The Welsh regiment known as the Ancient Britons : 

any person is taken up by the patrols after ten o'clock, he will be fined five 
shillings for the benefit of the poor. If the delinquent is not able to pay 
five shillings, he will be brought to a drum-head court-martial, and will 
receive one hundred lashes. — James Derham, Colonel-Comtnandent." 



3. The North Cork mihtia,^^ and certain Ulster militia 
regiments ; 

4. Two regiments of German troops from Hesse. 


I. Evidence has already been adduced to show that, before 
the insurredlion of 1798, the Irish yeomanry corps were mostly 
composed of Orangemen. In Wexford county, however, eighteen 
months before the outbreak, Catholics had loyally united with 
their Protestant fellow-citizens in forming yeomanry corps for 
the defence of the country against the attempted French in- 
vasion of December, 1796.^^ According to their papers, Wex- 
ford county was never "organised" by the United Irishmen.'^'' 
Its name does not appear in the list of " places to be relied 
upon," drawn up by Lord Edward Fitzgerald in February, 
1798. Nevertheless, Catholics and liberal-minded Protestants 
were driven from the yeomanry there. As a result, the force 
in question "became almost exclusively Protestant.""* Thence- 
forward, says Myles Byrne in his Memoirs, the Wexford 
yeomanry were to be " upon the true Protestant, or Orange 
system." They were recruited mainly from the same class as 
the yeomanry of Ulster, and of the neighbouring county of 
Wicklow. Hay, in his History of the Insurredlion in Wexford, 
describes them as the " lowest and most uninformed vulgar." 

^'iLecky says: "The North Cork mihtia, the Welsh regiment of 
Ancient Britons, and two Hessian regiments, which were sent over just 
before the rebelHon, appear to have been those which left the most bitter 
recolledlions in Ireland " [Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 275 ; 
cf. p. 343)- His statements regarding the Orange yeomanry place them 
amongst the most furious persecutors of the people at this period (vide 
infra). Mitchel describes the Hessian troops as " German mercenaries 
. . who had tor some time been favourite instruments of the British 
Government for dragooning any refradtory population" {Hist. Ireland, vol. 
i., chap, xxxii., p. 266). 

32Mitchel, History 0/ Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxiv. 

3 3Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xx., p. 489. Nothing, certainly, 
appears to have been done to impart military training, appoint officers, 
form regiments, etc. Lecky, Ireland tn the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv.. p. 
345, note. This is confirmed by Hay and Gordon. See Kavanagh's Hist, 
of the Rebellion, Appendix, 4th ed., p. 261, note. Mitchel says of the Wex- 
ford insurredion that "scarcely any of its leaders were United Irishmen," 
and that Father John Murphy and the other clergymen who took part in 
it "had done their utmost to break up that society, in some cases even 
refusing the sacraments to those who were members." History of Ireland, 
vol. i., chap. XXXV., p. 303. 

3*Lecky, op. cit., vol. iv., p. 346. By diredtions from Dublin Castle, 
the Wexford yeomanry — or some corps of them — were (nominally) required 
to take an oath that they were neither United Irishmen nor Orangemen, 
" but pradtically," says Mitchel, "the measure was so executed as to disarm 
none but Catholics, or such Protestants as were known to be liberal in 
their opinions," Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxiv., p. 282. 



They were largely controlled by what one contemporary 
author terms an " Orange magistracy," whose harsh treatment 
of the Catholic population is admitted by a local and contem- 
porary Protestant historian, Rev. James Gordon. ^^ Sir Jonah 
Barrington, who was at that period an Orangemen,''- says: "A 
portion of the gentry of the county of Wexford were Ijoister- 
ous, overbearing, and devoid of judgment. Their Christian 
principles were merged in their Protestant ascendency. The 
frenzy of an exterminating principle seemed to have taken root 
amongst them ; and they acfted as if under the impression that 
burning every cottage, and torturing every cottager, were a 
meritorious proof of their faith and loyalty."^'' This was before 
the insurrecftion. The head-quarters of the various corps of 
Wexford yeomanry were at Wexford, Enniscorthy, Ferns, and 
Gorey. In each of these places, previous to the outbreak of 
the insurrecftion, they were associated with the North Cork 
militia, who, as we shall see, were ardent proselytisers for the 
Orange association. The Protestant writer Taylor is compelled 
to admit that, at the outbreak of hostilities in 1798, there were 
Orangemen in the towns where the detachments of the North 
Cork militia were stationed.''^ Hay, another contemporary 
historian, says that many, "finding themselves supported by 
the military," now joined the Orange association, and — follow- 
ing the Ulster custom— wore its colours.''^ Hunter Gowan, 

^^Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. ii., p. 360. Lecky admits that "some of 
the Wexford magistrates obtained during the rebellion, and in the weeks 
of martial law that preceded it, a reputation for extreme violence." Ireland 
in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 343. Cf. Mitchel, vol. i., chap, xxxiv., 
p. 287; chap. XXXV., p. 297; and Hay, Hist, of the Insurrection, pp. 61-63. 

"^See p. I, snpra, note 1. 

^''Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, 2nd ed., p. 353. 

^^History of the Rebellion in the County of Wexford, p. 15. The author, 
a clergyman, habitually applies to Catholics the offensive designation of 
"Papists." An idea of the extremely partisan charadter of his little book 
may be gained from the fadt that it has been republished at the office of 
the Victorian Standard, and advertised in that paper in the same column 
with The Aitful Disclosures of Maria Monk, for circulation among the Orange 
lodges of the colony. Taylor's references to "priest Murphy," "priest 
Kearns," etc., are quite in the style affedled by the Orange press. 

^^Hist. of the Insurrection, ed. 1803, p. 57. The custom of Orangemen 
and Nationalists wearing distindtive colours (orange and green) was in vogue 
in Ulster in 1797 (cf. Lecky, Eighteenth Century, iv., 98). The custom had 
found its way to Wexford county before the insurredtion, both among the 
militia and the yeomanry. At the battle of Enniscorthy, May 28, 1798, 
two days after the rising, when the fortunes of the fight fludluated in favour 
of the yeomen, "many in the town," says Lecky, are said to have displayed 
orange ribbons; when the insurgents prevailed, green ribbons (the national 
colour) were exhibited (Lecky, ibid., p. 359). This statement is made by 
other historians, and is borne out by well attested and constant local 
tradition. Taylor, the local Protestant writer already quoted, states in his 



for instance, and his Black Mob, marched through the town 
of Gorey displaying "all the devices of Orangemen."*" "The 
sooiety," he continues, "soon after became prevalent through- 
out the county," and "was forwarded by the received 
prejudice that no man could be loyal who was not an 
Orangeman. Dr. Jacob, a captain of a yeomanry corps, did 
not at first deem Orangeism an essential to loyalty, and refused 
to become a member, but he was soon induced to alter his 
opinion. By a resolution entered into by a majority of the 
corps, that they would resign if he did not join the association, they 
absolutely compelled the captain to take the oath." Hay, 
Byrne, Cloney, Mitchel, and others unite in describing the 
most ferocious of the Wexford yeomanry as being Orangemen 
just before and during the insurrecftion ; and in the popular 
mind at that period they were regarded as such.*^ After the 
capture of Wexford, as also at Vinegar Hill and elsewhere, the 
insurgents carefully distinguished between other Protestants, 
whom they spared, and those who "were known as Orange- 
men," or who (as Lecky says), after a "form of trial," "were 
pronounced by the rebel tribunals to be Orangemen."*^ 

Rebellion in the County of Wexford (p. 36. Dublin: Curry, 1S29) that the 
town was defended by the Enniscorthy and Scarawalsh yeomanry and by 
fifty men of the North Cork militia. Two or three days after the capture 
of Enniscorthy (May 30th and 31st, 1798), when Wexford had also fallen 
into the hands of the insurgents, the inhabitants hung out green; "but," 
says Lecky (iv., 369) "banners of all colours, except the hated orange, now 
appeared." A further instance of the fury excited in the popular mind by 
supposed Orange emblems is given by the same writer (iv., 453). Even at 
this early period the people of Wexford had learned to hate the Orange colour. 

*oHay, Hist, of the Insurrection, p. 70; cf. pp. 272, 278. 

*iCf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp 347, 351; 
Mitchel, vol. i., chap, xxxiv. 

4-^Mitchel, ibid., chap, xxxv., p. 296; cf. Lecky, vol. iv. pp. 369, 381. 
Cf. Hay's Hist, of^ the Insurrection, Appendix X. Musgrave . perhaps unin- 
tentionally, contributed evidence that in Wexford the popular resentment 
was diredted mainly against Orangemen. He gives the following as a copy oi 
a certificate or passport signed by a Catholic priest of the town: "A of B, 
in the parish of C, has done his duty, and proved himself a Roman Catholic^ 
and has made a voluntary oath that he never was an Orangeman, nor took 
the Orange oath. F. J. Broe, Dated, Wexford, June 21, 1798." Another 
proof of the resentment of the insurgents against Orangemen is furnished 
by the same writer in the case of Thomas Hall (Memoirs Appendix xix.. 
No. 14, vol. ii., p. 120, ed. 1801). His alleged Journal of Father Murphy 
would furnish further proof in point, but that it is so manifestly a hoax or 
a forgery (cf. Gordon's Hist, of the Rebellion, 2nd ed., p. 412). Kavanagh, 
in his Hist, of the Rebellion (4th ed., p. 161), shows that the fury of the in- 
surgents was direfted chiefly against Orangemen. Cf. Hay, p. 59. Gor- 
don relates how, in Wicklow county, Orangemen, or persons charged with 
being Orangemen, were singled out for special vengeance by the insurgents. 
Lecky, iv., 443; cf. p. 451. The many Quakers settled in the disturbed 
distridts in Wexford county were not molested in any way. 



In the neighbouring county of Wicklow, says Lecky, it 
became necessary "to fill the ranks [of the yeomanry] with 
Protestants of the lowest order." Hence the organisation 
there took "a peculiarly secftarian characfler."*^ The Wicklow 
yeomanry were associated with the Antrim militia/^ and with 
the Ancient Britons, who, as we shall in due course see, were 
" mostly Orangemen." Miles Byrne, in his Memoirs, expressly 
states that the Wicklow yeomanry were Orangemen, and as 
such they were held to be in the public estimation, ^^ In his 
Memoirs,^'^ Musgrave records the singularly precise rumor 
prevalent in the Rathdrum distridl (Wicklow county) that all 
but four members of the local yeomanry corps were Orange- 
men. Their confreres of the adjoining county of Carlow, as 
well as those of Meath and Kildare, are described by the 
Protestant writer, Walpole, as being "Orange yeomanry 
corps," just before the insurredlion broke out in 1798." The 
Carlow yeomanry were associated in the work of provoking 
the rebellion with portion of the North Cork militia and the 
Tyrone militia. The latter were in the habit of "wearing 
ostentatiously Orange ribbons among the Catholic peasantry, 
and plundering alike the loyal and disloyal."^*' 


2. Early in the year 1797, the Ancient Britons were 
stationed at Newry, in the heart of one of the most Orange 
distri(5\s of the North. The Newry Orange yeomanry had 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol, iv., p. 342. 

4*Despatch of Lord Camden, May 26, 1798, given by Mitchel, Hist, oj 
Ireland, vol. i. , chap, xxxiii., p. 281. 

*5Cf. Lecky, loc. cit., and p. 347. Taylor's statement that there was no 
Orange organisation in Wicklow county at the outbreak of hostilities, is 
quite opposed to the probabilities of the case, and cannot set aside the 
popular verdicft and the positive statement of Byrne and other contem 
porary writers. As events proved, the rumour of a massacre by Orange 
yeomanry was not, unhappily, altogether devoid of foundation. There is, 
on the other hand, no evidence to show that the Wicklow yeomanry, unlike 
their confreres, stood aloof from the Orange organisation. General Sir John 
Moore, speaking of Wicklow, says the people there "would certainly be 
quiet if the gentry and yeomen would only behave with tolerable decency, 
and not seek to gratify their ill-humor and revenge upon the poor." Mit- 
chel, vol. i., chap, xxiii., p. 272. See also Cornivallis Correspondence, vol. ii., 
pp. 385-386, Murray's ed., 1859. 

46Vol. i., p. 306. 

^"^Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xix., p. 487. The Irish Magazine of 1811 
credits the Carlow Orangemen with the chief share in the tortures inflidted 
on the people in that county in 1798. Quoted in Kavanagh's Hist, of the 
Rebellion, 4th ed., p. 261. 

^^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 275; cf. vol. iii., 
p. 464, and Mitchel's Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxiii., p. 279. Cf. note 
39, supra. 



their head-quarters in the same town, and the two forces 
seem to have cordially fraternised, at least in crime. In May 
of that year — twelve months before the rebellion — the Newry 
yeomanry and the Ancient Britons joined hand in hand in the 
shocking and wholly unprovoked massacre of inoffensive men, 
women, and children at Ballyholan, This event, says Lecky, 
" left an ineffaceable impression of horror and resentment on 
the popular mind.""*^ Judging from their associations, and the 
eager propaganda of Orangeism which we know was soon 
afterwards carried on in English militia regiments in and out 
of Ireland, it was but natural to expedf that, as Plowden 
positively states, the Ancient Britons were "mostly Orange- 
men," and that they were given to Orange toasts over their 
cups.^° They were placed at free quarters among the hapless 
peasantry of Wicklow before the insurrection of 1798, and 
vied with the local yeomanry and the Antrim militia in the 
perpetration of the maddening atrocities which finally sent the 
people out of their homes to sell their lives upon the hillsides.^^ 


3. The North Cork militia were under the ominous leader- 
ship of Lord Kingsborough. He was the friend of the 
notorious Orange Grand Secretary, John Claudius Beresford, 
and his accomplice in the inhuman tortures inflicSled by the 
latter on the unhappy people previous to the outbreak of 
hostilities in 1798.^^ Lord Kingsborough had evidently to a 

*^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 274-275; cf. p. 99. A 
description of this massacre, from the pen of an Orange eye-witness, is 
given in this chapter, in/ra. 

^^ Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 91, 96. Plowden says that 
at this time (1797) "by far the greater part of the Newry cavalry and 
infantry yeomen were also Orangemen" (ibid., p. 92). The same writer 
gives (ibid., pp. 115-118) an instance of Orangemen proselytising among 
the Cambridgeshire militia, together with a copy of a regimental order by 
its commanding officer, the Earl of Hardwicke, stridtly forbidding his 
officers and men to join the society. The order was dated Dublin, April 
17, 1799. A similar order was issued by Major-General Cockburn to the 
nth Infantry at Chelmsford, Essex, in 1810. Plowden, ibid., 124, 126. See 
chap. XV., infra. 

siCf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv. , p. 343. 

s^piowden, ibid., pp. 103-104. Cf. pp. 120, 124, notes. Two men, 
John Flamming and Francis Gough, after having been inhumanly flogged 
in Beresford's yeomanry riding-school, to extort confessions, were sent 
adrift through the streets, naked and streaming with blood, and with 
melted pitch and feathers on their heads. "Cough's flagellation was 
superintended by Lord Kingsborough, who, almost at every lash, questioned 
him how he liked it ; it was so severe as to have confined him [Gough] 
six months to his bed." These facfls were related to Plowden "by the 
spedlator and the sufferer." Lord Kingsborough was captured by the insur- 
gents in Wexford, and was treated by them with great consideration. 
Mitchel, vol. i., chap, xxxv., p. 297; Lecky, iv., 450, 456, 459, 460, sqq. 



great extent filled the ranks of the North Cork militia regi- 
ment with men after his own heart, before they were drafted 
to Wexford to take a hand in the work of torturing the people 
into armed resistance.*'* 

Three contemporary historians, who lived on the spot — 
one a Protestant, and the others Catholics — agree in stating 
that the Orange system was first publicly and openly introduced 
into Wexford county by this regiment, shortly before the 
insurredtion. Hay, in his History of the Insnvre6tion, teWs how 
there were found in the Wexford military barracks occupied by 
the North Corks, a pitch-cap " and an Orange commission or 
warrant, appointing a sergeant of the North Cork militia to 
found an Orange lodge in the town."*^ He states that the 
regiment in question contained *' a great number of Orange- 
men," who made a public display of their ribbons, devices, 
etc.** Myles Byrne,*" who lived inside Wexford county, 

^ '^T wo years helore the insurredlion, according to an authority quoted 
by LecKy, one-third of the North Cork miUtia was composed of Protestants. 
This proportion was probably very largely increased by Lord Kings- 
borough and his fellow-officers. Lecky adts as the apologist of the North 
Cork militia. He is prepared to admit that the officers of the regiment 
were Orangemen (iv., 351). He, however, hazards the extraordinary state- 
ment that a regiment recruited in the Catholic county of Cork could not 
possibly "have consisted largely of Orangemen" {ibid). But (a) Lecky 
advances nothing in support of this statement, which is moreover contra- 
dided by the positive evidence of contemporary historians and eye-wit- 
nesses, [b) The detachment of the North Cork regiment stationed in 
Wexford, numbered at most 600 men (Lecky, iv., 354-355); {c) far greater 
numbers of avowed Orangemen subsequently joined the yeomanry in the 
"essentially Catholic" and much smaller county of Wexford. \d) The 
character, conduct, and anti-Catholic associations of Lord Kingsborougli 
(which Lecky apparently does not take into account) make it very probable 
that he would endeavour to exclude members of the hated creed from his 
regiment, and fill its ranks, as far as possible, with men of a strongly anti- 
Catholic stamp, or who, when once under his command, could be made so, 
or compelled to aft as such, (e) The behaviour of the North Cork militia 
among the Catholic population of Wexford is in singular accord with that 
of the Tyrone and other Orange regiments elsewhere, and contrasts 
forcibly with what Lecky terms "the excellent condudt" of the King's 
county militia in the adjoining county of Carlow (Lecky, iv., 275). I can 
find no instance in which a Catholic militia regiment systematically tor- 
tured and outraged their co-religionists, before the insurredtion, as the 
North Corks did. (/) What Lecky terms the "alliance" between the 
Government and the Orange society gave a great impetus to the spread of 
Orangeism among all classes. A large body of the Irish militia-men were 
undoubtedly Catholics, but of many of the Ulster regiments, at least, 
Plowden's statement was true, that at a later date (1810) " a large portion 
[of them] were Orangemen." Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 
124. Cf. note 33, supra. 

6*P. 175. 

65P. 57. 

6^ After the insurredtion he entered the French army, "served with 



and took an acftive part in the insurred^ion, says in his 
Memoirs that the North Corks were " distinguished for making 
Orangemen, hanging, picketing, putting on pitch-caps, etc." 
Taylor, the Protestant writer referred to above, admits that 
there were Orangemen in the towns where the North Cork 
militia was stationed/'' " This corps," says Plowden, 
another contemporary, " superabounded in Orangemen, who 
were encouraged by their colonel [Lord Kingsborough] in 
displaying the triumphant insignia of their institution, such as 
medals and Orange ribands at their breasts, and in proselytis- 
ing for their order. "^® On their arrival in Wexford, the North 
Corks promptly set about the task of provoking a rebellion. 
With the willing help of the kindred spirits of the yeomanry, 
with whom they were quartered, they quickly turned a peace- 
able and prosperous county into a pandemonium, filled with 
the smoke of burning homes and the shrieks of vidliims under- 
going, untried, the agonies of slow torture. 


One must view the proceedings of the Orange soldiery in 
1798 in the light of the lodge outrages of 1795, 1796, and 1797. 
The proceedings which immediately led to the insurredliion 
fv^ere but the crowning achievement of the war of proscription 
which had been waging during the three previous years. It 
needs but a slight acquaintance with the seamy side of human 
nature to gauge what would happen when martial law was 
proclaimed, on the 30th March, 1798 ; when the safeguards of 
personal right were abolished ; when a hostile magistracy were 
protecfted by special Adls of Parliament from the consequences 
of illegalities and outrages perpetrated, or to be perpetrated, 
by them on a people from whom they differed in religion, in 
politics, and frequently in race ; when an undisciplined Orange 
soldiery, recruited mainly from the lowest classes of the popu- 
lation, were let loose, at free quarters, among a people whom 
they regarded with feelings of deadly hatred, for the purpose 
of forcing them into insurrecStion by harsh treatment. 

It is but natural to expecft that, in the circumstances, con- 
science would be drugged, the " qualifications of an Orange- 

distindion in Spain, the Low Countries, and Germany," and became Chef- 
de-Bataillon and officer of the Legion of Honour. Webb's Irish Biography, 
p. 65. Mitchel sets a very high value on Byrne's Memoirs. 

^''The Rebellion in the County of Wexford, p. 15. Cf. this chapter, 
supra. It is significant that the yeomanry in the towns referred to — Wex- 
ford, Enniscorthy, Ferns, and Gorey — vied with the militia in the infliftion 
of torture, etc., upon the people before the rising. 

^^Ivcland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. loo-ioi ; Hay, Hist, of the 
Rebellion, ed. 1S03, p. 57. 



man" embalmed, and that the sole guide of personal conduct 
would be the passion of the hour. The proclamation of martial 
law and free-quarters, says Lecky, " was undoubtedly a proxi- 
mate cause of the rebellion."^" "Free-quarters," says Sir 
Jonah Harrington, "rendered officers and soldiers despotic 
masters of the peasantry, their houses, food, property, and, 
occasionally, their families. This measure was resorted to, 
with all its attendant horrors, throughout some of the best 
parts of Ireland, previous to the insurrecflion, and for the pur- 
pose of exciting it." ^ " Martial law," says Lecky, " is always 
an extreme remedy of the State. . . . But few things are 
more terrible than martial law when the troops are undiscip- 
lined, inadequate in numbers, and involved in the facflions of 
the country they are intended to subdue."''^ I have already 
shown that the Irish yeomanry forces were composed mainly 
of Orangemen. They were recruited principally from the 
lower and more ignorant strata of the community. " It [the 
yeomanry] was," says Lecky, " recruited chiefly in districfts 
which had been for years the scene of savage fadlion fights 
between the Defenders and the Peep-o'-Day Boys, between 
the United Irishmen and the Orangemen."®^ The same 
writer adds : " In great distridls which were torn by furious 
fa{51:ions, it consisted exclusively of the partisans of one fadfion, 
recruited under circumstances well fitted to raise party ani- 
mosity to fever heat. Such men, with uniforms on their backs 
and guns in their hands, and clothed with the authority of the 
Government, but with scarce a tinge of discipline, and under 
no stridl: martial law, were now let loose by night on innumer- 
able cabins." '^^ Elsewhere in the same volume Lecky states 
that the yeomanry forces were " demoralised by a long course 
of license." ''* Such a force, he says again, was " perfecff ly 
sure to be guilty of gross violence." "^ While claiming that 
the employment of armed fanatics was successful as a piece of 
military strategy, he remarks : " The Irish yeomanry have 
been much and justly blamed by historians for their want of 
discipline, for their extreme recklessness in destroying both 
life and property, and for the violent religious passions they 
too frequently displayed."^'' One looks in vain among the 
records of this woful period for any action of the Orange 

^^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 265. 

^"Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, 2nd ed., p. 351, note. 

^'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 39. 

^■^Ihid., p. 38. 

^'•^Ibid., p. 39. 

^"^Ibid., p. 268. 

^^Ihid., p. 38. 

^^Ibid., p. 341. Cf. Killen, Eccles. Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 369, nott 



soldiery, the whole and sole guiding motive of which was 
clearly a loyal adherence to the laws or Constitution of their 
country. Their conducl before, during, and after the insur- 
redtion, was marked by the vindidtive and promiscuous inflicftion 
of cruel punishments, which were outrages on personal right, 
which were criminal in their kind or in the method of their 
inflidtion, and which were directed against the innocent as 
well as the guilty. These outrages were committed either 
from sheer wantonness, or under the pretence of extorting 
confessions, or of searching for arms in districfts that were, or 
were supposed to be, disaffected. The outrages referred to 
may be grouped under the following heads : 

I. Outrages diverted against property : (i) Plunder ; (2) the 
burning of houses, and other forms of destruction of property. 

II. Outrages against the person : (i) Outrages on women; 
(2) the systematic inflidtion of slow torture ; (3) murder or 


I. These varied forms of illegality and outrage began soon 
after the formation of the Orange yeomanry in Ulster. They 
were reduced to a system while the country lay helpless and 
writhing under martial law. They reached their greatest 
height during and shortly after the insurreclion of 1798. In 
Ulster, military excesses were perpetrated on the people in 
the spring and summer of 1797, over a year before the out- 
break of the rebellion. On the 17th and 19th March of that 
year, General Lake wrote to Pelham that the yeomanry " are 
under little control, either officers or men ;" and that such 
excesses as had occurred in that province may have been 
committed "chiefly by the yeomaury," for the purpose of 
" gratifying their party spirit and private quarrels."" An 
Orange eye-witness, Captain Giffard of the Dublin militia, in 
a confidential letter to the Government, describes the pro- 
ceedings of the Ancient Britons and the Orange yeomanry 
in Ulster, after they had made numerous unsuccessful expedi- 
tions among the people under the pretence of searching for 
concealed arms. The reader has already seen that the Ancient 
Britons were " mostly Orangemen." The Britons, Giffard 
wrote, " burned a great number of houses, and the objedl of 
emulation between them and the Orange yeomen seems to be, who 
shall do the most mischief to wretches who certainly may 
have seditious minds, but who are at present quiet and 
incapable of resistance." In the course of this letter Captain 
Giffard describes the historic and unprovoked massacre of 

^'^Quoted by Lecky, Ireland in the Eigliteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 40 

273 R 


Ballyholan. " I was direcSled" [to the Ancient Britons] said 
he, " by the smoke and flames of burning houses, and by the 
dead bodies of boys and old men, slain by the Britons, though 
no opposition whatever had been given to them ; and, as I shall 
answer to Almighty God, I believe a single gun was not fired 
but by the Britons or yeomanry. I declare there was nothing to 
fire at, old men, zvomen, and children excepted. From ten to 
twenty were killed outright ; many wounded, and eight houses 
burned." Sixteen prisoners were taken. " The next day," 
continues Captain Giffard, " they were all proved perfeiflly 
innocent . . . But the worst of the story still remains ; 
two of the Britons desiring to enter a gentleman's house, the 
yard gate was opened to them by a lad, whom, for his civility, 
they shot and cut in pieces."^® This atrocious massacre, says 
Plowden, " has always been considered to have mainly con- 
tributed to the rebellion, which took place in the next year."^^ 
Giffard's letter, says Lecky, " throws a ghastly light on the 
condition of Ulster, and the levity with which those things 
appear to have been regarded is even more horribly significant. 
There are frequent allusions to the multitude of prisoners who 
thronged the gaols, and many of them were sent, without trial, 
to the fleet."'" Lord Dunsany, in the Irish House of Lords, 

68Quoted by Lecky, ibid., pp. 41-42. Cf. Plowden, Historical Review, 
vol. ii., p. 626-627, and Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 92-96. 
Plowden says, "it happened, however, on this, as on many such occasions, 
that the searchers made free with articles of dress or furniture, as their 
fancies suggested." Among the murdered were a woman and an old man 
of seventy. A woman "far gone with child" was fired at, and two boys 
were shot, one of ten years old, the other of six. The murder of the latter 
by two Ancient Britons, is thus described by Plowden in his Ireland from 
its Union : "Near the gate stood a boy named Ryan, about six years of age, 
whom they ordered to open it : the child said he would, if they would not 
hurt him. Before he could open it, one of them struck at the child with 
his sabre over the gate, and broke his arm. They still insisted upon his 
opening it, which the child did with his other hand, and they rode through 
and cut up the boy with their sabres, and one of them made his horse 
(though with much difficulty) trample upon him." They then entered the 
cellar of the house and gave Orange toasts. The Orange yeomanry who 
took a leading share in this day's work, were those of Newry. 

The Captain Giffard mentioned above is described by Plowden as "the 
great apostle of Orangeism." Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 91; 
cf. Madden's United Irishmen, ii., 291-296. An account of the Ballyholan 
massacre is also given by "Observer," quoted in Madden's United Irishmen, 
Third Series, vol. ii., Appendix 6, p. 336. 

fispiowden, op. cit., p. 92, note. This writer adds (p. 96. note) that the 
Britons afterwards "never came into contaft with the rebels without being 
reminded of Ballyholan, and they were generally refused quarter . . . 
They exceeded one thousand effedlive men, and it is generally computed 
tbat not nearly one-tenth of the privates, who first came over, survived the 

'"^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 42-43. Particulars of 



told a grim tale of house-burnings and cold-blooded murders 
by the military, of transportations without trial, etc." Dr. 
Browne, of the Dublin University, offered, in the Irish House 
of Commons, to give proof of " numerous instances" of the 
same classes of outrages having been committed by the mihtary 
and yeomanry.''" A meeting of Dublin city freeholders, held in 
July, 1797, declared by resolution that great numbers of 
persons "have had their houses burned, or been themselves 
transported or put to death, without even the form of accusa- 
tion or trial."''' The Protestant statesman, Grattan, refers at 
the same time to " barbarities committed on the habitations, 
property, and persons of the people."''* Lord Moira, an Ulster 
Protestant landlord, told a similar tale of capricious house- 
burning, torture, and wanton destrucflon of property in 
one of the most peaceable portions of his province, before 
the insurrecftion.'^ " We have," continues Lecky, " abundant 
evidence that great numbers of poor men's* houses were, 
at this time [in Ulster before the insurrecStion] burnt on 
slight reasons and without a shadow of legal justification ; and 
there is much reason to believe that in the midnight raids 
many persons were shot by soldiers, or move probably by yeomen, 
in a manner that differed little, if at all, from simple murder. 
All these things naturally tended to stir up fierce and enduring 


" The burnings of houses," says Lecky, " which had been 
well known in the North, was now carried on upon a yet larger 
scale in Leinster, and the free quarters formed a new and 

cases of this kind are given by Plowden in his Hist. Review, vol. ii., pp. 

''iQuoted by Lecky, op. cit., p. 46, note. 


■'^Ibid., p. 43. 

''^Grattan's Life and Times, by his son, vol. iv., p. 301. 

'SMorrison Davidson, The Book of Erin, p. 200. Godkin, The Land 
War in Ireland, p. 267. 

'^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 44, 45-46. Lord 
Carhampton, who was commander-in-chief in Ireland, originated the 
system of summarily transporting people without any or proper trial. He 
came to Ireland as Colonel Luttrell, to mend a broken fortune, and joined 
the powerful Beresford party in their policy of coercion. Free-quarters, 
picketing, pitch-capping, half-hanging, etc., were introduced under his 
regime. Junius said of him : " He has discovered a new line in human 
charadler ; he has disgraced even the name of Luttrell." According to 
Bowles Daly, " Luttrell was regarded with such awe and hatred by the 
peasantry, that many supposed he was possessed with the devil, and he 
was known by the name of ' Satanides,' owing to the cold-blooded atrocities 
which he committed." Ireland in Ninety-eight, pp. 64-65. 


Tin*: oRANCii': socji<:ty. 

terrible feature in the system of military coercion."" " The 
houses of the [Leinster| peasantry were burning in all direc- 
tions," says Walpole.'" Many houses were burned down simply 
because their owners were absent, and villages were deserted 
by the terror-stricken inhabitants.'" All this took place before 
the outbreak of the rebellion of 1798. The counties of Wex- 
ford, Wicklow, Carlow, and Kildare were the portions of 
Leinster which suffered most from the unrestrained brutality 
of the soldiery. The wholesale destru(5tion of the homes of 
the people was authorised by no civil law ; it was justified by 
no plea of military necessity ; it was carried out under the 
pretence of searching for concealed arms, or from sheer 
caprice, or secSlarian hate, or private malice. The yeomanry, 
etc., frequently burned houses, the owners of which had fled 
in great numbers in terror of the murders and torturings which, 
as we shall see, were the ordinary accompaniments of the 
military raids;"' Wexford, one of the most prosperous, con- 
tented and peaceable counties in Ireland,*" was made to bear 
the chief brunt of military lawlessness. The North Cork 
militia and the yeomanry corps, ivho were stationed in the same towns, 
joined hand in hand in the gruesome work of goading the 
people to insurrection. The most infamous of the Wexford 
yeomanry were known as the Black Mob. Myles Byrne, in 
his Memoirs, says that this corps was composed of "low 
Orangemen." Hay, another contemporary and local writer, 
says, in a passage of his History already quoted, that they 
publicly wore all the devices of Orangemen .*''^ They were 
organised and led by the notorious Hunter Gowan, " who," 
says Lecky, "now became famous for the multitude of houses 
he burnt."**" The Black Mob were stationed at Gorey, where 
a detachment of the North Cork militia was also quartered on 
the people."* Referring to the criminal destruction of the 
homes of the people in Leinster, the Protestant historian, 
Lecky, says : " Horrible abuses and horrible sufferings in- 
evitably accompanied these things. Many who resisted, and 
not a few it is said who did not resist, were shot dead on their 

''''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, p. 268. 

''^KinRdom of Ireland, chap. ,\viii., p. 478 ; cf. Lecky, iv., 269. 

TOLucky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 46, note, 349, 
296; of. Walpole, xvii., 4O7 (for UlsUn). 

eoLecky, op. cit., p. 2(19. 

»^Ibid.. p. 343-344 . Walpole's Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xx., p. 488. 

s'iHist'. of the Insvnecthin. cd. iHo^, p. 57. ^ ,,. , , 

f^-^/relami in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 276. Cf. Mitchel, vol. 1., 
char, xxxiv p. 284 ; Hay's Hist, of the Insurrection, pp. 69-71, ed. 1803. 

*^*Milch'el. Hist of Ireland, vol. i., cluip. xxxiv., p. 284 ; Musgrave, 
Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, p. 326 ; Hay, p. 71. 



thresholds, while countless lainilics wore deprived of all they 
possessed, and were driven homeless into the world. Farm 
horses were seized and carried away. Stores of provisions 
were broken into and shamefully wasted or destroyed, and adls 
of simple robbery and pure wanton violence were of daily 
occurrence.""'^ Mrs. Leadbeater, a Quaker authoress, who 
resided at the time in Carlow county, contrasts the excellent 
conducTt of the Kinf^'s County militia, who were quartered 
upon the people in her distridl, with that of the Tyrone militia 
who succeeded them. The latter made an ostentatious display 
of Oranf,'e ribbons, and indiscriminately plundered both the 
loyal and the disloyal.'"'' Lecky testifies to the terror which the 
yeomanry of Leinster, generally, inspired in the people during 
the agonisinf,^ weeks which ])reccded the rising of 1798.*' 
" Orange yeomanry," says another Protestant writer, " . . . 
as full of cruel fanaticism as destitute of the very elements of 
military discipline, revelled in every conceivable form of rapine 
and outrage.""" What the i^rotestant historian, Walpole, had 
said of the close of 1797 was still more true of this short peri<;d 
of concentrated woe. The yeomanry forces, which, said Wal- 
pole, were " composed almost entirely of Orangemen," were, 
with the Ancient Hritons and others, "encouraged to play 
havoc with the miserable inhabitants of the proclaimed dis- 
tridls. . . . Houses were plundered and burnt, women 
outraged, and children brutally ill-treated and murdered. Men 
were seized and sent on board lenders, untried. They were 
flogged, ' picketed,' and hall-hung, to extort confessions as to 
concealed arms. They were hunted df)wn and sabred. 
Villages and whole districts were devastated, and the inhabit- 
ants turned out of their homes into the ditch."™ The reader 
is once more rerjuested to bear in mind that the writers quotfd 
above are describing the condut'l of the Orange soldiery in the 
days of peace. 


II. — (i) R(!spe(5l for, and chivalrous defence of, female 
honour was so characteristic of Christian soldiery at their best 
period that the word "gallantry," in its best sense, has come 
to be synonymous of personal bravery and of courtly respedt 
for women. There is, perhaps, no other form of military 
barbarity which arouses such deep and lasting feelings of 

f^^' Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 271 

»'>Leadbeater Papers, vol i , ])\>. 223, 224, quoted by L. cky, iv., 275, 
See note 38, supra. 

^''Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 27G. 
^^'MorriHon Davidson, The Book of lirin, p. 200. 
""Walpole, Kinf't/nm of Ireland , chap, xvii., p 467 



revenge, and which leads to such fierce reprisals, as outrages 
on defenceless females. The "qualifications" of the Orange 
body would naturally lead us to expecft that their soldiery 
would be beau-ideals of Christian chivalry — modern counter- 
parts of the fearless and reproachless knights whose highest 
glory, next to fighting the battles of the faith, was to shield 
the defenceless ; and who saw in every good woman the image 
of the spotless Virgin-Mother, whom the Protestant laureate 
Wordsworth styled "our tainted nature's solitary boast," 
Nevertheless, search as you will the annals of lodge 
history from Dan to Beersheba, you will find them barren of 
any display of conspicuous respecft for women on the part of 
the Orange military forces. On the contrary, military history 
furnishes few, if any, worse examples of cool, calculated, 
coarse brutality towards the female sex, than were displayed 
in the days of peace towards their own country-women, by the 
Irish Orange soldiery in 1797 and the two following years. 
One pretext for outrages of this kind arose from the then 
recently developed hatred of Orangemen for green, which has 
long been officially recognised as the n^'^ional colour of 
Ireland.™ This antipathy arose, as we have seen, among the 
Orange yeomanry of Ulster. It rapidly extended to their 
confreres, the Ancient Britons, and the Orange yeomanry of 
Leinster. It was then the custom of many women of every 
creed, class, and shade of politics in South and North to wear, 
quite innocently, articles of apparel bearing sundry shades of 
the forbidden hue.'*^ Referring to a period preceding the insur- 
redtion, Lecky says ; 

" Outrages on women were very common. Peasant girls 
had often thrown themselves enthusiastically into the United 
Irish movement, and attested their sentiments by their green 
ribbons, while many others who knew or cared nothing about 
politics wore something green in their dress. Every person 
who did so was tolerably sure to be exposed to insults which 
planted far and wide, among a peasantry peculiarly susceptible 
on such matters, the seeds of deadly, enduring hatred." ^^ The 
Ancient Britons and the low class of yeomanry organised in 
Wicklow, were ferocious scourges of the people."" These 
military ruffians cut the petticoats off women with their sabres. 
The offending garments contained a tinge of green, "a colour 
certainly with them [the wearers] innocent of disaffecflion," as 

s^See chap, xi., supra, p. 216, note. 

siMitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i,, chap, xxxiii., pp. 271-272. 

^'^'Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 273. 

9sSee General Sir John Moore's opinion of the Wicklow yeomanry, 
quoted above, note. For the Ancient Britons, see Lecky, op. cit., vol. iv., 
P- 343. 



a local Protestant magistrate declared. ^^ Wexford county was 
held by 600 North Corks and a large body of yeomanry. They 
also, in the days of peace, tore petticoats, handkerchiefs, 
ribbons, and caps off women of even "enthusiastic loyalty."^' 
The same thing was done in Ulster by the Tyrone Orange 
yeomanry, and by the Ancient Britons, as early as 1797. In 
the case of the latter, the outrage was, on at least one occasion, 
accompanied with circumstances of scandalous indecency.^" 
In the same year (1797) the Protestant bishop of Down, Dr. 
Dickson, assured Lord Holland that " he had seen families 
returning peaceably from Mass assailed without provocation 
by drunken troops and yeomanry, and the wives and daughters 
exposed to every species of indignity, brutality, and outrage, 
from which neither his remonstrances nor those of other Pro- 
testant gentlemen could rescue them."" It was stated at the 
same time that, during this period, women were dragged from 
their beds in Ulster, to see their houses burned — presumably 
by the Orange soldiery, who were then indulging freely in this 
latter form of amusement. Walpole, in a passage already 
quoted, mentions barbarities committed on women as one of 
the forms of systematic cruelty pradticed by the Orange 
yeomanry and the Ancient Britons. The Viceroy, Lord Corn- 
wallis, in a sentence of his correspondence which singles out the 
atrocities of the yeomanry for special reprobation, stated that, 
on his arrival in 1798, free-quarters "comprehended universal 
rape and robbery throughout the whole country."^® During 
the insurrecflion, says Mitchel, "the treatment of women by 
these Hessians and the yeomanry cowards was truly horrible 
and the less capable of any excuse, as, in this matter at least 
there could be no pretence for retaliation.'"'^ The contempo 
rary writer, Plowden, says, in his Review of the State of Ireland 
" It has been boasted of by officers of rank that, within certain 
large distri(51:s, a woman had not been left undefiled ; and upon 
observation, in answer, that the sex must then have been 
complying, the reply was, that the bayonet removed all 
squeamishness." The leading share in these, as in every 
other form of atrocity, was taken by the Hessian dragoons 

8*Quoted by Lecky, ihid., p. 274, note. 

95Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i,, chap, xxxiv., p. 284; Gordon's 
History of the Rebellion, p. 59. 

s^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv,, p. 99. 

^''Lord Holland, Memoirs of the Whig Party, Longman's ed. of 1852, vol. 
i., p. 114. See also Lecky, op. cit., p. 274. 

^^Letter to Major-General Ross, April 13, 1799, Compare extradl 
from Barrington, given over note 60, supra. 

^^Hist. of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxv., p. 300; cf. Major-General 
Napier's words, quoted by Mitchel, vol. i.,chap. xxxiii., p. 272. 



and the Orange soldiery. Among a people who so highly 
prized the priceless jewel of female honour, these outrages, 
says Plowden, " produced an indignant horror in the country, 
which went beyond, but prevented retaliation." Lecky, 
while condemning the excesses of the insurgents, says that 
" it is acknowledged on all sides that they abstained to a most 
remarkable degree from outrages on women, while on the 
other side this usual incident of military license was terribly 
frequent."^** A similar verdidt is given by Bouverie-Pusey, 
another Protestant historian. ^°^ Rev. James Gordon, who 
lived in Wexford during the insurrecflion, says : " In one 
point I think we must allow some praise to the rebels : amid 
all their atrocities, the chastity of women was respected. I 
have not been able to ascertain one instance to the contrary 
in the county of Wexford, though many beautiful young 
women were absolutely in the power of the rebels. "^°^ Even 
the Orange writer, Musgrave, admits that " on most occasions 
[the insurgents] did not offer any violence to the tender 
sex."^°^ Sir Jonah Barrington, who was then an Orangeman, 
says : " It is a singular fa(5l that, in all the ferocity of the con- 
fli(5l, the storming of towns and of villages, women were 
uniformly respecfted by the insurgents. Though numerous 
ladies fell occasionally into their power, they never experienced 
any incivility or miscondudt."^"^ The military outrages on 
women went far to arouse in the breasts of the insurgents a 
hatred of Orangeism, and that spirit of revenge which found 
expression in the fierce, but unauthorised, reprisals of Wexford 
Bridge, Vinegar Hill, and Scullabogue Barn. 


(2) One of Queen Elizabeth's deputies for Munster received 

i^^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 471 ; cf. p. 36G. 
The same author records how, while Wexford town was in the hands of the 
insurgents, Protestant women were not imprisoned or otherwise molested ; 
that they there were treated "with great respedt," and that sentinels 
were placed at the houses of several Protestant ladies, " to protedl them 
from insult" (p. 450). 

loi" f he rebels seldom or never outraged women, whilst the Royalists 
often did." The Past History of Ireland, p. no. 

^^'^Hist. of the Rebellion, p. 213. Gordon says in his History (p. 217) : 
"Women and children were not put to death by the insurgents, except in 
the tumultuous and hasty massacre of Scullabogue." See Walpole's 
statement infra, regarding the murder of women and children by the 
Orange yeomanry and the Ancient Britons in the time of peace. 

^o^Memoirs of the Different Rebellions, p. 428. 

^°^Rise and Fall 0/ the Irish Nation, 2nd ed., p. 362, note. Barrington 
(ibid.) tells how one of Hompesch's German soldiers shot a Mrs. Stringer, 
the wife of a Royalist attorney, at Enniscorthy. The insurgents subse- 
quently took some of those Germans prisoners, and piked them all, as they 
told them, "just to teach them how to shoot ladies." 



orders to torture her suspedted Irish subjedts whenever he 
should "find it convenient." These instrucftions were in 
accordance with the principles of judicial procedure then in 
vogue. But the systematic use of torture as a means of 
extracting evidence had disappeared in Great Britain and 
Ireland before the rise of the Orange association. It was 
reserved for the members of that society to illegally revive it 
in the British dominions ; to carry it out on a vast scale, and 
with circumstances of barbarity to which it would be, perhaps, 
impossible to find a parallel in the authentic proceedings of 
the worst days of the much-abused Spanish Inquisition. The 
barbarity of the pradliice was aggravated by the following 
further circumstances of hardship : 

(a) The use of torture by the Orange soldiery (and magis- 
tracy) was not the unauthorised adt of irresponsible individuals. 
It was part of a settled policy. In due course we shall see that 
it was stoutly advocated and defended in press and Parliament, 
and pracftised under the eye of the Government, by the standard- 
bearers of the Orange association. 

(b) The pracftice was illegal. This circumstance might 
fairly be expecfted to have counted with men whose avowed 
purpose was to maintain and defend the laws of their country. 
" What," exclaims Lecky, " could be more hideously repugnant 
both to the letter and the spirit and the pradtice of English 
law than this systematic employment of torture as a means of 
extorting confessions?" 

(c) The use of torture was begun, and long carried out, in 
the days of peace. Its worst excesses were committed in two 
of the most peaceable and prosperous counties of Ireland, 
Wexford and Wicklow, upon a population which took " very 
little interest in political questions. "^°^ 

(d) Many innocent men, says Lecky, were " tortured on 
the vaguest and most unfounded suspicion," and many others 
for the gratification of private vengeance. The formality of a 
trial was usually dispensed with.^"® 

(e) As Lord Bedford declared in the English House of 
Lords, these " cruelties had not been resorted to on the spur 
of the moment, but had been deliberately resolved upon long before 
for a certain purpose."^°'' That purpose was, as we have seen, to 

lo^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p, 342 ; cf. pp. 343, 


^°^Ibid., pp. 272, 273, 284 ; Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xviii., 
p. 478 ; Mitchel, vol. i., chaps, xxxiii. to xxxv. 

lO'^Quoted by Godkin (a Protestant writer) in The Battle-fields of Ninety- 
eight (National Review, 1868) ; compare the same writer's Land War in 
Ireland, pp. 267-268. 



goad the people into an unsuccessful rebellion, and thus 
" smooth the way for the Union." 

Writing of the period that immediately preceded the rising 
of 1798, the Protestant historian, Mitchel, says: "It is 
notorious that the Orange yeomanry serving in Leinster were 
amongst the most furious and savage torturers of the people."^"* 
The Protestant Unionist writer, Mr, Goldwin Smith, formerly 
Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, thus refers 
to the same period in his Irish History and Irish Character : 

" The Protestant gentry and yeomanry, as one man, became 
8 Cromwellians again. Then commenced a reign of terror scarcely 
less savage than that of the Jacobins. The suspecfted con- 
spirators were intimidated, and confessions, or pretended con- 
fessions, were extorted, by loosing upon the homes of the 
peasantry the license and barbarity of an irregular soldiery, 
more cruel than a regular invader. Flogging, half-hanging, 
pitch-capping, picketing, went on over a large distridl, and the 
most barbarous scourgings, without trial, were inflicfted in the 
Riding-house, Dublin, in the very seat of government and 
justice. This was styled ' exerting a vigour beyond the law,' 
and to become the objeeft of such vigour it was enough, as 
under Robespierre, to be suspecfted of being a suspecft." A few 
pages further on, the same author writes : " The peasantry, 
though undoubtedly in a disturbed state, might have been kept 
quiet by lenity ; but they were gratuitously scourged and 
tortured into open rebellion. . . . These were the crimes, 
not of individual ruffians, but of a facflion — a facflion which 
must take its place in history beside that of Robespierre, 
Couthon, and Carrier. The murders committed by the 
Jacobins were more numerous, and may have excited more 
indignation and pity, because the vicftims were of higher rank ; 
but in the use of torture the Orangemen seem to have reached a pitch 
of fiendish cruelty which ivas scarcely attained by the Jacobins."^"^ 

The following were the chief of the many modes of torture 
to which the defenceless people were subjedled during the 
second Orange Reign of Terror : 

(a) Picketing ; 

(b) Half-hanging ; 

(c) The pitched cap ; 

(d) Scourging. 

^^^Ilist. 0/ Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxii., p. 269. 

^o^Msh History and Irish Character, 2nd ed., pp. 169, 174 (Parker, 
Oxford and London, 1862). I find the following words quoted from the 
same work, presumably from the first or other edition which I have not 
been able to consult : " The dreadful civil war of 1798 was the crime — as a 
candid study of its history will prove — not of the Irish people, but of the 
Orange terrorists, who literally goaded the peopje into insurredtion." 



These forms of torture are so constantly referred to by both 
Protestant and Catholic writers in their accounts of the pro- 
ceedings which led to the insurrection of 1798, that a few 
details regarding them may not be out of place. 


(a) Picketing and [b) half-hanging. The torture of picketing, 
as pracTiised in the army in 1745, is thus described by a writer 
in Chambers' Journal of 0(5tober 19, 1895 • " ^^ picketing, the 
culprit's naked heel rested on a sharpened stake [termed 
a " picket "] driven into the ground, his right wrist and right 
leg being drawn up as high as they could be to a hook fixed in 
an adjoining post. The whole weight of the body rested on 
the sharpened stake, which, though it did not break the skin, 
inflicfted exquisite torture ; the only means of alleviation was to 
rest the weight on the wrist, the pain of which soon became 
unendurable.""" Half-hanging was carried out as follows : the 
suspecft or other vicftim was, usually without any form of trial 
(as in the case of picketing), hanged by the neck till he was 
half-dead, cut down again, allowed to come to his senses, and 
then strung up again and yet again, until he died under the 
torture, or made a real or pretended confession regarding con- 
cealed arms, etc. This punishment brought the agonies of 
death by slow strangulation, without that release from further 
bodily suffering which accompanies death"^ 

" Torture," says Lecky, " was at the same time [before 
the insurredlion] systematically employed to discover arms. 
Great multitudes were flogged till they almost fainted ; picketed 

iioA similar description of this torture is gi\"en by Morrison Davidson 
in The Book 0/ Erin, p. 200. 

Ill" Lieutenant Hepenstall," says Bowles Daly, "presents a remark- 
able instance of the brutality of the day." He was an ex-apothecary, a 
giant in stature, a Sampson in brute strength. When he encountered a 
peasant whose answers did not satisfy his somewhat capricious require- 
ments, he felled him with a blow of his fist, and (in his own words) " used 
some threats, and pricked him with a bayonet to induce him to confess." 
Hepenstall then, "adjusting the noose round the prisoner's neck, drew the 
rope over his own shoulders, and trotted about, the vidtim's legs dangling 
in the air until death at last put an end to the torture." These details 
were sworn to by several witnesses, and admitted by Hepenstall himself at 
the trial of one Hyland, which took place at Athy, under the Whiteboys 
Adt, in 1797. Hepenstall (or Hempenstall, as iladden calls him) was 
known as "The Walking Gallows." An epitaph written for him runs as 
follows : 

"Here lie the bones of Hepenstall, 
Judge, jury, gallows, rope and all." 

Bowles Daly, Ireland in Ninety-eight, pp. 66-67. -^ similar account of 
Hepenstall is given by Madden and Barrington, and by Lecky in his 
England in the Eighteenth Century, vol. viii., p. 22. 



and half-strangled to extort confessions.""' In a passage 
already quoted, Sir Jonah Barrington says : " Slow torture 
was infli(51ed under the pretence of extradling confessions : the 
people were goaded and driven to madness.""^ Rev. James 
Gordon, "^ Walpole,"^ Goldwin Smith, Morrison Davidson, 
Godkin, and other Protestant historians write in a similar 
strain of the same period. In November, 1797 — the year 
before the insurrecftion — Lord Moira, an Ulster Protestant 
landlord, said in the EngHsh House of Lords : " When a man 
was taken upon suspicion he was put to the torture ; nay, if he 
was merely accused of concealing the guilt of another. The 
rack, indeed, was not at hand, but the punishment of picketing 
was in pradiice, which had been for some years abolished as 
too inhuman, even in the dragoon service. He [Lord Moira] 
had known a man, in order to extort confession, of a supposed 
crime, or of that of some of his neighbours, picketed till he 
acftually fainted, picketed a second time till he fainted again, 
and, as soon as he came to himself, picketed a third time, till 
he once more fainted, and all upon mere suspicion.""^ These 
things took place before the insurredlion, and (said the noble 
Lord) " in a part of the country as quiet and free from dis- 
turbance as the city of London." 

The distinguished contemporary statesman and philan- 
thropist. Lord Holland, writes as follows in his Memoirs of the 
Whig Party :"' 

" The fadt, however, is incontrovertible, that the people ol 
Ireland were driven to resistance, which possibly they medi- 
tated before, by the free quarters and the excesses of the 
soldiery, which were such as are not permitted in civiHzed 
warfare, even in an enemy's country. Trials, if so they may 
be called, were carried on without number under martial law. 
It often happened that three officers composed the court, and 
that of the three, two were under age, and the third an officer 
of the yeomanry or militia, who had sworn in his Orange lodge 
eternal hatred to the people over whom he was thus constituted 
as judge. Floggings, picketings, death, were the usual 
sentences, and these were sometimes commuted into banish- 
ment, serving in the fleet, or transference to a foreign service. 
Many were sold at so much per head to the Prussians." 

'^-'^'^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Centxtry, vol. iv., p. 271. 
^'^'■^Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, 2nd ed., p. 351. 
^''■'^Htst of the Rebellion, pp. 65-76. 
^'^^Kingdom of Ireland, ch. xix., p. 478. 

iisQuoted by Godkin, The Battlefields of Ninety-eight {National Review, 
1868) ; see also his Land War in Ireland, p. 267. 
'I'^Vol. i., pp. 113-114. 



ILiy, the local and contemporary historian of the Wexford 
insurreifiion, referring to the tortures inflicted on the people 
by the yeomanry before the outbreak, says : " Many 
unfortunate men, who were taken in their houses, were strung 
up, as It were to be hanged, but were let down now and then 
to try if strangulation would oblige them to become informers. 
After these and the like experiments [scourging, etc., included] , 
several persons languished for some time, and at length perished 
in consequence of them.""'* According to the Mt-nioiys of Myles 
Byrne, the Enniscorthy yeomanry "never marched out of the 
town without being accompanied by a regular executioner with 
his ropes, cat-o'-nine-tails, etc.," for the purpose, says Lecky , 
of " flogging and half-strangling suspected persons.""-' 


(c) The pitched cap was invented, or at least introduced 
into Wexford county, by the North Cork militia, a large body 
of whom were, as we have seen, Orangemen. According 
to Hay and Lecky, this species of torture was principally 
intended for persons who wore their hair " cropped" short, and 
who were for that reason supposed to be in sympathy with the 
United Irish movement. " The torture of these men," says 
Lecky, "soon became a popitlcjy amiisfificiit among the soldiers."^* 
When a "croppy" was seen, or pointed out by a "loyal" 
neighbour, he was, says Hay, " immediately seized and [with- 
out the formality of a trial] brought into a guard-house, where 
caps, either of coarse linen or strong brown paper, besmeared 
inside with pitch, were always kept ready for service. The 
unfortunate vicftim had one of these, well heated, compressed 
on his head, and when judged of a proper degree of coolness, 
so that it could not be easily pulled oft', the sufterer was turned 
out amidst the horrid acclamations of the merciless torturers, 
and to the view of vast numbers of the people who generally 
crowded about the guard-house door, attracted by the cries of 
the tormented. Many of those persecuted in this manner 
experienced additional anguish from the melted pitch trickling 
into their eyes. This afforded a rare addition of enjoyment to 
these keen sportsmen, who reiterated their horrid yells of 
exultation on the repetition of the several accidents to which 
their game was liable from being turned out ; for, in the 
confusion and hurry of escaping from the ferocious hands of 

^^^Hist. of the Insurrection, p. 64. Hay, (pp. 64-66) gives some harrow- 
ing instances of the infli(5tiug of this form of torture. 

^i"Cf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighttvnth Century (vol. iv., p. 349, cf. p. 
34S) ; Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxii., p. 266; Hay. Hist, of 
the Insurrection, p. 71. 

^ -" Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Centuty. vol. iv., p. 272. 

28 5 


these more than savage barbarians, the bhnded vidlims fre- 
quently fell, or inadvertently dashed their heads against the 
walls in their way. The pain of disengaging this pitched cap 
from the head must be next to intolerable. The hair was 
often torn out by the roots, and not unfrequently parts of the 
skin were so scalded or blistered as to adhere and come off 
along with it. The terror and dismay that these outrages 
occasioned is inconceivable. A sergeant of the North Cork, 
nicknamed Tom the Devil, was most ingenious in devising new 
methods of torture. Moistened gunpowder was frequently 
rubbed into the hair, cut close, and then set on fire. Some, 
while shearing for this purpose, had the tips of their ears 
snipped off. Sometimes an entire ear, and often both ears, 
were completely cut off; and many lost their noses during the 
like preparation. But, strange to tell, these atrocities were 
publicly pracftised without the least reserve in open day, and 
no magistrate or officer ever interfered, but shamefully 
connived at this extraordinary mode of quieting the people." ^^^ 
Lecky tells of "a man in Dublin who, maddened by the 
pain of the pitched cap, sprang into the Liffey, and ended at 
once his sufferings and his life."^'^^ The incident most probably 
took place in what the same writer describes as "the chief 
scene" of the worst forms of torture of this woful period — the 
yeomanry Riding-house, which was kept close to the bank of 
the Liffey by the notorious John Claudius Beresford, Grand 
Secretary of the Orange society. ^^^ " The torture of the pitched 
cap," says Lecky, "which never before appears to have been 
known in Ireland . . . excited fierce terror and resent- 
ment."^-* An idea of the horrible frequency of this form of 
torture and of half-hanging before the insurredtion may be 
gained by reference to standard works on this agonising period 
of Irish history. 


(d) Scourging was another "popular amusement" in which 
the yeomanry forces took a leading share. Musgrave, the 

i'2iHay, Hist, of the Rebellion, pp. 57-58. See also Lecky, Ireland in tks 
Eighteenth Centuiy, vol. iv , pp 272, 349 ; Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, chap. 
XX., p. 489. The torture of burning gunpowder was inflided by " Tom the 
Devil" on a Protestant gentleman of property, Anthony Perry of Inch (Co. 
Wexford), who, says Walpole {ibid.) " is an instance of the way in which 
the people of Wexford were driven to exasperation." See also Hay, p. 76. 

^'^'^Ireland m the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv. p. 276. 

i23piowden, on the authority of one of the sufferers and of an eye- 
witness, records two particularly barbarous instances of flogging, pitch- 
capping and feathering, etc., perpetrated by Beresford and Lord Kings- 
borough. See note 52, supra. 

i'2ilre!and in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 349. 



Orange writer, in an Appendix to his Memoirs of the Different 
Rebellions, admits that this punishment, as inflicfted, was 
obviously repugnant to both tlie letter and the spirit of the 
law. It was nevertheless inflicfled by men who boasted of 
their loyalty. Floggings were, as Lecky states, ^^^ "very often" 
inflicfled v/ithout any form of trial ; for the gratification of 
private malice ; on persons who were " perfetftly innocent '."^^^ 
frequently, with attendant circumstances of great barbarity ; 
and before the outbreak of hostilities in 1798. 

" No man was safe," says Walpole, referring to the south- 
eastern counties of Leinster at this period. " Shopkeeper 
and artisan equally had their backs cut to the bone ; farmer 
and labourer were equally tortured on the pointed stake." ^^' 
As indicating the severity with which this punishment was 
administered, Lecky (in a passage already quoted) tells how, 
through the province of Leinster, " great multitudes were 
flogged till they almost fainted," and how blacksmiths, on the 
suspicion of having made pikes, "were scourged almost to 
death in the streets of the villages" to compel them to con- 
fess. ^-^ " More than one viiftini," the same writer admits, 
"died under the lash."^*-' Women are said to have been 
publicly flogged in the streets of Gorey, which was garrisoned 
by the yeomanry and the North Cork militia. Gordon, the 
Protestant historian, who lived near the spot, describes the 
terror which the floggings excited in the people in that neigh- 
bourhood, and records a case which he personally knew, of 
a working man who dropped dead through fear of this 
torture.^''" Hay, referring to the inflidtion of torture by the 
"yeomen and magistrates," previous to the outbreak, says: 
" Some, too, abandoned their houses for fear of being whipped 
and this inflicftion many persons seemed to fear more 
than death itself." Reference has already been made to the 
habit adopted l^y the Enniscorthy yeomanry, of bringing with 
them, on their forays, an executioner with hanging ropes and 
cat-o'-nine-tails. In an outing to Ballaghkeene, this fundlion- 
ary plied the lash with such vigor that — to use the vigorous ex- 
pression of an eye-witness — the spot of execution was covered 
with blood "as if a pig had been killed there." ^'^^ The Riding- 
house, where the notorious Grand Secretary, John Claudius 
Beresford, exercised his Dublin yeomanry, "was" says Lecky, 

^^^/btd., p. 273. 

^"^^Ibid., p. 272. 

'^'^'^ Kingdom of /re la fid, chap, xviii., p. 478. 

^"^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 271. 

^^^Ibid., p. 275. 

''■^'^ History of the Rebellion, ist ed., pp. 87-88. 

I'^^See Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century vol. iv., p. 350. 



" well known as the chief scene of the torture." '^^ Walpole says 
that the flogging was carried out " under the direction of John 
Claudius Beresford."^"^ This and the other forms of torture 
were practised publicly in Dublin, under the very eyes of the 
Government of the day.^^'* (The Dublin garrison, says Mitchel, 
consisted " chiefly of yeomanry. ")i^^ " In Beresford's Riding- 
house," says Mitchel,^'"' " Sandys's Prevot,^^' the Old Custom 
House, ^''^ the Royal Exchange,'^^ some of the barracks, and 
other places in Dublin, there were daily, hourly, notorious 
exhibitions of these torturings, as there were in almost every 
town, village, and hamlet throughout the kingdom, in which 
troops were quartered." All this took place before the people 
rose in revolt. 

In an Appendix to his Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in 
Ireland, the Orange writer, Musgrave, stoutly defends the use 
made of the cat-o'-nine-tails before the rebellion. Alfred 
Webb, a learned Irish Protestant writer, thus refers to Mus- 
grave : " He displayed such animosity against the Catholics, 
and outraged public decency so much by his defence of flogging 
and free quarters, that, according to a long noticein the. Annual 
Biography, ' the Irish Government at length found it necessary 
to disown all connedtion with the author : and publicly dis 
claimed the idea of affording him either patronage or protecftion 

132/Z);^., p. 276. In the English House of Commons, in March, 1801, 
Beresford said that " it was unmanly to deny torture, as it was notoriously 
pradised." Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., chap, i., p. 17. Gordon says 
that Dublin was noted for its scourging, etc., not alone of " the common 
people," but of " some even in circumstances far superior to that class." 
Hist, of the Rebellion, pp. 65, 76. A wag wrote the following inscription 
over the entrance to Beresford's Riding-House : " Mangling done here by 
J. Beresford and Co." Bowles Daly, Ireland in Ninety-eight, p. 63. 

'^^'•^Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xxi., p. 501. 

i34Madden, who is perhaps, the greatest authority on this period, 
states that triangles were set up " under the very windows of Lord Castlereagh's 
office;" that people were flogged to death at them; and that torture was 
carried on "in the small vacant space adjoining the entrance to the Upper 
Castle Yard." Mitchel, vol. ii., chap, i., p. 17. See Walpole, chap, xxi., 
p. 501; Lecky, iv., 203, 293. Compare Barrington, Rise and Fall of the 
Irish Nation, ed. 1844, p. 359. 

^^^Hist. of Ireland, vol. ii., chap, i., p. 15. 

'^^'^Ibid., vol. i., chap, xxxiii., p. 279. Mitchel is here fully borne out 
by Madden, and by Walpole (chap, xxi., p. 501). 

I'i'^Major Sandys was, says Madden, "brother-in-law to Under Secre- 
tary Cooke, Lord Castlereagh's chief official in the Secretary's office." He 
was Brigade-Major to the Dublin garrison. 

i^sxhe Old Custom House was the place where Beresford and Lord 
Kingsborough infiidted the tortures described by Plowden. See note 52, 

isflThe Royal Exchange, says Walpole "had been converted into a 
military depot and was the head-quarters of the yeomanry." Kingdom of Ireland, 
chap. XXI., p. '^01. 



in future.' ""° The Orange party of the time, both in and out 
of Parliament, were in full accord with their apologist as to the 
employment of torture for the purpose of " exploding the re- 


(3) The outrages committed by the Orange soldiery before the 
outbreak of hostilities in 1798, were not, however, limited to 
house-breaking, robbery, outrages on women, and the illegal and 
systematic inflicftion of torture. The crime of murder, on a 
large scale, and with every circumstance of maddening barbarity, 
must also be laid to thechargeof "the gallant Orange yeomanry 
who fought in ninety-eight." 

At a somewhat later period — June, 1798 — Lord William 
Russell said from his place in the House that " a man's loyalty 
was to be estimated by the desire he testified to imbrue his 
hands in his brothers' blood. ""^ The same test of loyalty 
apparently held good in the few feverish weeks which preceded 
the insurrecff ion. Judged by this standard, the Orange soldiery 
were beau-ideals of loyalty. We shall see that, in the opinion 
of Lord Cornwallis, out of all the troops that were employed 
in provoking and stamping out the insurrecffion, the pride of 
place in mere murder rightly falls to the yeomanry. The crime 
was carried out 

(a) Frequently after a form of mock-trial; more frequently 
without such a formality, principally 

(b) By search or scouring parties, and 

(c) By those in charge of prisoners. 

Reference is here made exclusively or almost exclusively to 
the murder of unarmed and unresisting persons before the people 
went out from their homes to die upon the hill-sides. 

(a) Mock-trials. — In his order of February 26, 1798, General 
Sir Ralph Abercromby referred to " the very disgraceful fre- 
quency of courts-martial.""^ Lord Holland, Walpole, and 
others have already been quoted to show that the proceedings 
of these courts were mere mockeries of justice: tortures and 
death being commonly inflidfed without proof of guilt, for the 
purpose of compelling suspecffs to incriminate themselves or 
others, or for the gratification of private malice. 

(b) Standard authorities on the period of martial law that 
preceded the insurrecftion of 1798, are agreed that shooting 

^'^'^ Compendium of Irish Biography, p. 356. 

^*iQuoted by Godkin (a Protestant writer) in The Battlefields of Ninety - 
eight (National Review, June, 1868, p. 14). See also the same writer's Land 
Law in Ireland, p. 268. 

I'l^'^ Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xviii., p. 476; Mitchel, vol. i., 
chap, xxxii., p. 265; Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 203. 

289 S 


people at their doors, or as they rushed for safety out of their 
burning houses, formed one of the chief amusements of the 
mihtary who were placed at free-quarters in the homes of the 
peasantry in Leinster. Lecky, referring to the " horrible 
abuses and horrible sufferings " inflicfted by the search-parties 
on the unhappy peasantry, says : " Many who resisted, and 
not a few, it is said, who did not resist, were shot dead on their 
thresholds."^** Walpole, referring to the atrocities perpetrated 
in Ulster, in 1797, by the Orange yeomanry and the Ancient 
Britons, tells how people " were hunted down and sabred," 
and "children brutally ill-treated and murdered.""* In the 
Irish House of Commons, Dr. Browne, M.P. for DubUn 
University, referring to the outrages of the military and yeo- 
manry, offered to prove that persons had been shot in cold 
blood."' Lecky, in a passage already quoted, is prepared to 
admit that "in the midnight raids [in Ulster, before the 
insurrecftion] many persons were shot by soldiers, or more 
probably by yeomen, in a manner that differed little, if at all, from 
simple murder.""" Reference has already been made to the 
unprovoked massacre of men, women, and children, at Bally- 
holan, in Ulster, by the Newry Orange yeomanry and the 
" mostly Orange " Ancient Britons. Plowden and Madden 
give particulars of many such cases of cold-blooded murder."' 
In Wexford, Hunter Gowan's " Black Mob " of Orange yeo- 
men shot people at their doors. They tied one man to a tree 
and riddled him with bullets. This occurred on May 23, 
1798, and contributed much towards the rising, which took 
place three days later."® In the same county, and in the 
neighbouring ones, " the inhabitants were generally called to 
their doors, and shot without ceremony, their houses being 
immediately burned or plundered.""^ It is impossible to form 
an estimate of the numbers of persons who died under the 
lash, or from the effecfts of the various forms of torture 
inflidled on them during the Reign of Terror which preceded 
the rising. 

{c) Murder of prisoners. — Two horrible massacres perpe- 
trated, the one in Wicklow, the other in Wexford, greatly 

ti^lreland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 271. 

i-'i^'^ Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xvii., p. 467. 

''■'^^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 46, note. 

1^6 Ibid., p. 46. 

^^''Flo'wden, Historical Review of the State of Ireland, vol. ii., pp. 623- 
627; Madden, ii., 291-296. 

i48Myles Byrne, in his Memoirs, mentions the names of some of the 
I'idtims, whom he personally knew, he having been born near the spot, at 
Monaseed. Cf. Mitchel, vol. i., chap, xxxii., p. 267. 

lioMitchel, ibid. 



increased the popular terror and resentment in the two counties, 
and undoubtedly did much to precipitate the rebellion. On 
May 24 — two days before the rising — thirty-four prisoners were 
shot, without trial, at Dunlavin (County of Wicklow), "officers, 
to their disgrace, presiding and san(5tioning the proceedings."^^" 
The murderers in this case were, according to Musgrave, the 
local yeomanry and the militia,^^^ the latter being, as Hay and 
Madden testify, the Antrim militia, who, as we have already 
seen, were quartered on the people in this part of Wicklow at 
the time of the outbreak. On the following day — the eve of 
the rising — " twenty-eight fathers of families, prisoners, were 
shot and massacred in the Ball-alley of Carnew." " Many of 
the men thus inhumanly butchered had been confined on mere 
suspicion," says Hay. This dark deed of blood was likewise 
the work of the yeomen and a party of the Antrim militia. At 
Carnew, as at Dunlavin, the massacre was sancftioned by the 
officers. ^®'^ The records of such atrocities as I have thus far 
been describing, drew from Lecky — a witness not over-friendly 
to the tortured and maddened people — the declaration that the 
proclamation of martial law in Leinster was not only " a 
proximate cause of the rebellion," but that it " opened a scene 
of horrors hardly surpassed in the modern history of Europe. "^^ 


Evidence has already been given to show that the worst 
excesses of the policy of slow torture were carried on through- 
out the country, before the insurrecflion, with the full knowledge 
of the Government of the day.^^* Yet they were permitted to 
continue " without interference and without restraint. "^^^ 
There is no evidence of any effort having been ever put forth 

^^'^Ha.y, History of the Insurrection, p. 78; Byrne's il/^mo/Vs. Cf. Lecky, 
iv., 351-352. Musgrave (p. 243) admits that the massacre was resolved 
upon by the officers. 

'^^'^ Memoirs of the Dijfe^-ent Rebellions, p. 243. The rebellion did not 
begin in any part of Wicklow until after this massacre. Musgrave's state- 
ment to the contrary is made for an evident purpose, and is contradicted 
by every historian who has written on the subjedl. A detailed account of 
the Dunlavin affair appeared in The Irish Magazine in 181 1 (quoted in 
Kavanagh's Hist, of the Rebellion, chap, vi., p. 76, 4th ed). 

^^^Hist. of the Insurrection, ed. 1803, p. 76. Further details are also 
given in the Memoirs of Myles Byrne, whose home was not far from Car- 
new, and who declares that he "knew several of the murdered men," 
naming one, at whose wedding he had assisted two years before. Rev. 
James Gordon also menticMis a massacre at Carnew, at which "fifty-four 
[prisoners] were shot ... in the space of three days." Hist, of the 
Rebellion, p. 222. 

"^^'■^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 265. 

is*See tiote 134, supra. 

^s^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 272. 



by the authorities to mitigate the atrocities ^^^ perpetrated on a 
people, a great part of whom, although disturbed, would never 
(as in the case of Wexford) have risen in rebellion but for the 
havoc wrought amongst them by bullet, bayonet, brand, lash, 
picket, and the hangman's noose. On the contrary, some of 
the worst barbarities committed by the Orange soldiery in 
Ulster, long previous to the rising, were regarded by the 
Viceroy, Lord Camden, with a levity which, as Lecky points 
out, is " horribly significant."^®'' It was the spirit which led 
Nero to " fiddle," as it is said, over the blackened ruins which 
he had made in Rome, and which made the ISansculottes sing 
and dance the Carmagnole amidst the terrors of 1789. 
Walpole, in his Kingdom of Ireland (p. 477), and Lecky, in the 
fourth volume of his Ireland in the Eighteenth Century (p. 330), 
tell how, in 1797 — long before the rising — John Claudius 
Beresford, the Orange leader, declared in the Irish House of 
Commons, that " he wished they [the. people] were in rebellion, 
tomeet themface to face." General Dundas's lack of ferocity, and 
Sir Ralph Abercromby's order of February 26, 1797, against the 
"irregularities" and "licentiousness" of the army, evoked a 
fierce outcry from the Orange party. ^*® " General Abercromby," 
says Barrington, "was not permitted to abate these enormities 
[free-quarters and slow torture] , and therefore resigned with 
disgust. Ireland was by these means reduced to a state of 
anarchy, and exposed to crime and cruelties to which no nation 
had ever been subjedl. The people could no longer bear 
their miseries. Mr. Pitt's objecft was now effei51:ed, and an 
insurrecflion was excited. "^"^ In his Memoirs of the Whig Party 
Lord Holland says : "His [Abercromby's] recaW was hailed as 
a triumph by the Orange fadion. . . . Indeed, surrounded as 
they were with burning cottages, tortured backs, and frequent 
executions, they were yet full of sneers at which they whimsi- 
cally termed the ' clemency ' of the Government, and the 
weakness of their Viceroy, Lord Camden."^™ They were 
determined, says Walpole, to drive the people into open revolt, 
so as to have an excuse for " crushing them more eflfecftually."^''' 
During and after the insurrecftion, the new Viceroy, Lord 
Cornwallis, was contemptuously nicknamed " Croppy Corney," 
by the Orange party, for his attempts to mitigate the barbarities 
of the troops, and especially of the yeomanry. 

• ^^^Ibid., p. 269. 
'^^''Ibid., p. 43. ^ 

^^^Walpole, Kingdoiu of Ireland, chap, xvin., p. 477: Lecky, op. cit 
vol iv., p. 330. 

^^^Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, ed. 1S44, p. 351 
^'''OMcmoirs of the Whig Party, vol. i., p. 112. 
^^'^Kingdom of Ireland, p. 477. 




Two further circumstances contributed to aggravate a 
situation that had already reached the farther verge of ordinary 
human patience. They were : First, the suppression of inquiry ; 
second, the impossibility of obtaining legal redress. 

(i) There is little doubt, says Lecky, " that the authorities 
did all in their power to prevent inquiry, and to hush up such 
abuses as acftually occurred, "^''^ even before the insurredlion. 
Grattan speaks, in 1797, of "barbarities aud murders such as 
no printer will now dare to publish, lest he should be plundered 
or murdered for the ordinary exercise of his trade. "^'^^ 

(2) Legal redress for the inflitftion of torture, destrucflion 
of property, murder, etc., was made "almost impossible" by 
Indemnity Acfts, which shielded " loyalists " from prosecution 
on account of any and every kind of barbarity which they may 
have committed on the people before or during the insurrec- 

The terror inspired by military severities before the out- 
break of hostilities was extreme. " In the country," writes 
Lecky, "it is said that whole villages were deserted, and the 
inhabitants slept in the ditches and in the fields through fear 
of outrages from the yeomen."^"' In Ulster, which was domi- 
nated by Orange soldiery, the reign of terror began in 1797. 
"Villages and whole distri(51:s," says Walpole, "were 
devastated, and the inhabitants turned out of their homes 
into the ditch. "^'^'^ In Wexford county people deserted their 
homes in great numbers.^"' In the neighbouring county of 
Wicklow, according to Plowden, " the Catholic inhabitants 
abandoned their houses over a distridl: extending for thirty 
miles, in terror of Orange outrages."''* 


The reader has already seen, in the course of this chapter, 
that the immediate purpose of this unrestrained military 

'^^'^Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 45. 

i^^Qrattan's Life and Times, by his son, vol. iv., p. 301. "Observers" 
View of the Present State of Ireland, which gave an account of Orange out- 
rages in a part of Ulster, was, for prudential reasons, printed in London 
(1797). See note 68, pp. 28-29, supra. The office of the Northern Star was 
wrecked by the military because the editor had published an account of 
their outrages on the people. See Arthur O'Connor's letter in the Press, 
January 2, 1798, on the use of torture by the military at that period. Mad- 
den, United Irishmen, Second Series, vol. ii., pp. 299-304. 

i^*Cf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 2S2-287. 

^^^Ibid., p. 276; cf. p. 269. 

^^^ Kingdom of Ireland, chap, xvii., p. 467. 

is'^Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap, xxxii., pp. 267, 284; Cloney's 
Personal Narrative, quoted by Lecky, vol. iv., p. 358, 7iute. 

^^'^ Historical Review of the State of Ireland, vol. ii., pp. 714-716. 



license was to goad the people into rebellion ; its ulterior 
objedl, the Legislative Union between Great Britain and 
Ireland. Both purposes were duly effedted. One of the first 
results of the military outrages was to drive large bodies of 
people, who had hitherto taken little or no interest in politics, 
into the ranks of the United Irishmen. " The persecution," 
says Walpole, " drove the lukewarm into their ranks, and 
converted them into earnest spmpathisers."^® " It is only too 
certain," says the same Protestant writer, " that numbers of 
decent peasants and farmers, who had never troubled them- 
selves with politics, were driven into the ranks of the United 
Irishmen by the ferocity of the authorities.""," Martial law, 
says Lecky, " undoubtedly turned into desperate rebels miilti- 
tudes who, if they had been left unmolested, would have been, 
if not loyal subjects, at least neutral specftators, or lukewarm 
and half-hearted rebels.""^ The Report of the Secret Com- 
mittee of 1799, according to the same writer, " does not make 
sufficient allowance for the extent to which the rebellion was a 
mere unorganised rising of men who were driven to desperation 
by intolerable military tyranny.""^ The same Protestant 
author says of the martial law and free quarters : "The tortures, 
the house-burnings, and other manifold abuses that followed 
it, soon completed the work, and drove the people in large 
distridts to desperation and madness.""'' There is a horrible, 
though not unexpecfted, significance in the statement of Lecky, 
that the Irish Government looked "almost with gratification 
at the outbreak of the rebellion.""* The same writer adds that 
the method employed to force the people into open revolt "was 
largely responsible for the ferocity with which the rebellion 
was waged, and that it contributed enormously to the most 
permanent and deadly evils of Irish Ufe.""^ 

le^Klngdom of Ireland, chap, xvii., p. 469. Cf. 7wte 54, p. 26, supra. 

i''0Walpole, op. cit., chap, xviii., p. 479. 

'i-'''^ Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., p. 290. As far back as 
1796, Under-Secretary Cooke, in a letter to Pelham, said that "the irritat- 
ing c'ondudl of the Orangemen, in keeping up the persecution against the 
Cathohcs, does infinite mischief. It has been made the handle for seducing 
many of the militia," Quoted by Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, 

vol. iii., p. 455- 

^'^'^Ibid., vol. iv., p. 289. Joseph Holt, one of the insurgent leaders, is 
a notable case in point. He was a loyal and prosperous Protestant farmer 
in Wicklow county, until one day, on his return home, "he found his 
house a smoking ruin, his effedls pillaged, and his wife and family turned 
into the ditch. ' He himself fled for his life into the Wicklow mountains." 
Walpole, chap, xx., p. 490. Cf. Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, 
vol. v., pp. 82-84. 

I'sLecky, ibid., vol. iv., p. 291. 

^''^Ibid., p. 395. 

^''^Ibid., pp. 289-290; cf. p. 342. Holt, the insurgent leader, says in 




The outrag^es committed by the maddened people during 
the course of that desperate struggle were, as might be expecfled 
ill the circumstances, both numerous and dreadful. It should, 
however, be remembered that in nearly every case 

(a) They were committed by the humbler classes, who were 
without regular military discipline, and fighting for the right to 
live ; 

(b) They were adts of retaliation for the outrages of the 
mihtary, and especially of the Orange soldiery ; 

(c) They did not extend, as we have seen, to outrages on 
women ; 

(d) They were not sandlioned by the leaders of the 

Mr. Bouverie-Pusey, who describes himself as " a con- 
vinced Protestant," writes that, in forming a judgment on this 
subjecfl: of retaliation by the insurgents, "we ought also to 
remember the cruelties committed on the disaffecfted peasantry 
under the name of martial law, and the excesses of the Orange- 
men mentioned above. About all that can be said in favour of 
one side rather than another is that the rebels seldom or never 
outraged women, whilst the Royalists did ; and that cruelties 
committed by rebels belonging to the humblest class — com- 
manded by leaders of no more education than themselves, with 
no regular military organisation or system of punishment, and 
almost necessarily joined by large numbers of lawless charac- 
ters — are not altogether as deserving of censure as those of 
regular or semi- regular troops, who ought to be kept under 
fixed control by the Government they serve. Of course, 
where the rebels have themselves constituted a Government, 
the distincftion falls to the ground; but in Ireland, in 1798, this 
was not the case." Having referred to the fearful cruelties 
committed by the troops, the same writer concludes: "The 
excuses which have been made for the acflions of the yeo- 

his Memoirs (edited by Crofton Croker, 2 vols., 1838): "It was private 
wrongs and individual oppression, quite unconnedted with the Govern- 
ment, which gave the bloody and inveterate charadler to the rebellion in 
the county of Wicklow " (p. 18). The same is true of the Wexford rising. 
I'^^The first general proclamation issued to the rebel forces contained 
the following; "Let it be proclaimed to the extremity of our land, that 
insult to female honour, contempt of orders, pillage and desertion, shall be 
punished with death." The general orders issued to the Wexford insur- 
gents, June 6, 1798, declared: "Any person or persons who shall take 
upon them to kill or murder any person or prisoner, burn any house, or 
commit any plunder, without special written orders from the Commander- 
in-chief, shall suffer death." Kavanagh's Hist, of the Rebellion. 



manry, etc., were such as might with quite equal force be 
made for the Reign of Terror in France.""' 

Lecky, who cannot be accused of any bias in favour of the 
insurgents, has the following in a critiqtie on Froude : 

" Of the atrocities committed by the rebels during the 
bloody month when the rebellion was at its highest, it is 
difficult to speak too strongly, but an impartial historian would 
not have forgotten that they were perpetrated by undisciplined 
men, driven to madness by a long course of savage cruelties, 
and, in inost cases, without the knowledge or approval of their 
leaders ; that from the beginning of the struggle the yeomen 
rarely gave quarter to the rebels ; that, with the one horrible 
exception of Scullabogue, the rebels in their treatment of 
women contrasted most favourably and most remarkably with 
the troops ; and that one of the earliest episodes of the struggle 
was the butchery near Kildare of 350 insurgents, who had 
surrendered on the express promise that their lives should be 

No such atrocities had been perpetrated on the people who 
later on joined the French invaders in Connaught. Although 
a large range of country lay for many days at their mercy, the 
Protestant Bishop of Killala (Dr. Stock), who was witness to 
what he states, declares that " during the whole time of this 
civil commotion not a drop of blood was shed by the Con- 
naught rebels, except in the field of war.""^ 


Thus far, reference has been made to certain phases in the 
conduct of the Orange soldiery before the rising of 1798. This 
chapter would be incomplete without at least a brief notice of 
the methods by which they aided the regular troops in stamp- 

i''"'Bouverie-Pnsey, The Past History of Irdand, pp. iio-iii. 

I'^sQuoted in Justin H. McCarthy's Outline of Irish History, pp. 73-74. 
On the question of retahation by the insurgents consult Lecky, Ireland in 
the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., pp. 394, 445, 456, 459, 468; History of the 
Irish People by O'Conor, 2nd ed., pp. 256-257; Walpole, chap, xx., pp. 492, 
497; Mitchel, vol. i., chap, xxxv., pp. 293, 296-298. See note 179, infra. 
Cf. Bouverie-Pusey's Past History of Ireland, pp. iio-iii. 

^'''^A Narrative of what passed at Killala, p. 25, quoted by Lecky, vol. 
v., p. 55. Lecky ascribes the good conduft of the Connaught rebels to 
the fadl that " the people had not been dri\-en to madness by ilogging and 
house-burning" (p. 54). Rev. James Gordon likewise attributes the differ- 
ent behaviour of the Eastern and Western insurgents to the difference of 
treatment meted out to the people in Leinster and Connaught. He re- 
marks, in continuation, that free-quarters, house-burnings, torture, such 
as " croppings, pitch-cappings, and half-hangings, must, whether necessary 
or not, whether deserved or not, be expedled to kindle a spirit of revenge 
in the sufferers and their party." See note 182, infra, and Sydney Smith's 
Peter f'lyuiley's Letters, letter viii. 



ing out the rebellion which they themselves had been chiefly 
instrumental in bringing about. A few instances in point will 
serve to indicate the temper with which the work of repression 
was carried out. 

Captain Bagot's and Lord Roden's yeomanry took the 
chief part in the massacre of some 350 insurgents who had 
surrendered their arms, under promise of protecftion, at what is 
known to this day as the Place of Slaughter, on the Curragh of 
Kildare.^*° According to Hay, the day after the outbreak in 
Wexford, the yeomanry sallied forth in the northern part of that 
county, " burned numbers of houses, and put to death hundreds 
of persons who were unarmed, unoffending, and unresisting."^*'^ 
The same writer records the massacre and mutilation of men, 
women, and children by the Gorey yeomanry on the day that 
is still remembered in North Wexford as " Bloody Friday. "^^^ 
Rev. James Gordon states that the people in the districft where 
these atrocities were perpetrated were the last to take part in 
the rising, and the least violent of all the insurgents. ^^ A case 
that - excited considerable interest at this period was the 
barbarous murder of a sick youth, Thomas Doherty, in his 
mother's arms, by a yeoman named Wollaghan. The case was 
tried by Orange judges, presided over by the chief leader of 
the Irish lodges, the Earl of Enniskillen. The fadt of the 

i80]viitchel, Hist. 0/ Ireland, vol. ii., chap, i., p. 22, note ; cf. vol. i., 
chap, xxiii., p. 280. Like the Verners, Blackers, and Enniskillens, the 
Roden family were intimately associated with Orangeism from an early 
date in its history (" MP.," pp. 185, 226, 230). For an account of the 
barbarities pradised upon the Kildare people by the Orange yeomanry, 
etc., see Madden's United Irishmen, Third Series, vol. ii.. Appendix 8, pp. 


^^^Hist. 0/ the Insurrection, p. 8g. 

'^^'^Ibid., pp. 133-135, 275-276: Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. i., chap. 
XXXV., p. 301. Gordon admits that the Gorey yeomen shot some of their 
prisoners. He does not specifically mention the massacre of Bloody 
Friday. His silence on this subjedl may be accounted for (i) by the fad 
that his son was Lieutenant in the incriminated corps ; (2) by his avowed 
personal bias. He describes himself in his History as " wholly British by 
descent," and with a natural bias on the side of Protestantism and loyalty." 
In the preface to the second edition of his History of the Rebellion, he states 
(p. X.) that his sons were Orangemen. His History of Ireland, published in 
1S06, is described by the Protestant writer Lowndes as "a party work, 
abounding in misrepresentation" {Bibliographer's Manual of English 
Literature). (3). Motives of prudence might be assigned as a further 
possible explanation of Gordon's silence regarding the affair of Bloody 
Friday. He lived in the midst of the incriminated yeomen, and his History 
oj the Rebellion was published in 1801, while the ferocious spirit engendered 
by the insurre{flion was still abroad among his party. 

183///5; of the Rebellion, p. 104 (ist ed.) The Protestant writer Taylor 
refers to the address of loyalty presented by the Catholics of Ballycanew, a 
small town near Gorey, on the 1st of April, 1798, a few weeks before the 
rising. The Rebellion in Wexford, pp. 21-22. 



murder was admitted. The defence only pleaded that it was 
committed by Wollaghan under the following order from his 
commanding ofificer: That if any yeoman on a scouring party 
should meet with any whom he knew, or suspedcd, to be a rebel, 
he need not be at the trouble of bringing him in, but was to 
shoot him on the spot.^®'* This, together with another strikingly 
similar case of yeoman barbarity, is also recorded in the 
Memoirs and Corvespondence of Lord Cornwallis. Referring to 
the yeomanry and militia of the period, the Memoirs say : 
*' Among these corps an impression existed that it was perfectly 
justifiable to put to death, without even the form of a trial, 
any man who was known, or even suspected, to have been a 
rebel," The writer adds that officers " sometimes joined in, 
and frequently defended, these atrocious proceedings."^^ A few 
brief extradls from the letters of this humane and distinguished 
Viceroy will give the reader a grim idea of the ferocious spirit 
which dominated the yeomanry and militia forces and the 
Orange ascendency party of the day. In a letter to the Duke 
of Portland, June 28, 1798, he refers to the " ferocity " of the 
Irish troops, which, he added, " is not confined to the private 
soldiers."^*'' He scouts the idea that " Catholicism " is the 
cause of the rebellion.^®' In another letter he writes: "The 
violence of our friends, and their folly in endeavouring to 
make it a religious war, added to the ferocity of our troops, 
who delight in murder, most powerfully countera(5t all plans 
of reconciliation."^®^ In a subsequent letter to Major-General 

i^^Plowden, Hist. Review of the State of Ireland, vol. iii., p. 810; Ireland 
from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 113. Plowden adds {ibid.), "this order, 
and the constant afting up to it by the corps, was proved by one private, 
one sergeant, and two lieutenants of yeomanry." He also states that the 
judges were Orangemen. Wollaghan was acquitted; but the Viceroy, 
Lord Cornwallis, censured the court-martial, had Wollaghan discharged 
from the yeomanry, and prevented Enniskillen and the other officers who 
had tried the murderer from sitting any more on courts-martial. The 
Viceroy's letter is dated Ocflober 18, 179S, and is given in full in Plowden's 
Ireland from its Union, vol. i, Introd., pp. 114-115. 

^^^Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord Cornwallis, vol. ii., pp. 420-421. 

'^^^Ibid., vol. ii., p. 355. 

^^'^Ibid. The commander-in-chief of the Wexford insurgents, Bagenal 
Harvey, and others of their leaders, were Protestants. So were by far the 
greater part of the leaders of the United Irish Society. See p. 26, supra, 
note. Holt, the most daring and resourceful leader of the Wicklow insur- 
gents, was likewise a Protestant. 

^^^Memoivs and Correspondence of Lord Cornwallis, vol. ii., p. 355 ; 
cf. p. 377. Lord Cornwallis is referring to the insurreftion in Leinster, 
which spread over four counties : Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kildare. 
The Irish militia regiments who were stationed in these counties before 
the outbreak, and who signalised themselves most, both then and subse- 
quently, for their cruelties, were : in Wexford the largely Orange North 
Cork militia (see pp. 269-271, supra) ; in the other counties, certain regi- 



Ross, July 24, 1798, he refers to " the innumerable murders 
that are hourly committed by our people without any process 
or examination whatever. The yeomanry are in the style oi 
the loyalists in America, only much more numerous and 
powerful, and a thousand times more ferocious. They take the 
lead in rapine and muydcr." The Irish militia, he immediately 
adds, " follow closely in the heels of the yeomanry in every 
kind of atrocity. "^**^ An idea of one thing meant by Cornwallis 
by " taking the lead in murder " may be gathered from his 
letter of June 28, 1798, to Portland. He writes : 

" The accounts that you see of the number of the enemy 
destroyed in every adtion, are, I conclude, greatly exaggerated ; 
for my own knowledge of military affairs, I am sure that a 
very small proportion of them could be killed in battle, and I 
am much afraid that any man in a brown coat that is found 
within several miles of the field of acflion, is butchered without 
discrimination* "^°° 

The statements of the Viceroy are corroborated by Rev. 
James Gordon, as regards Wexford county, which had suffered 
most of all from the ferocity of the yeomanry, the North Cork 
and the Ulster militia regiments, and the " mostly Orange " 
Ancient Britons. In his History oj the Rebellion this author 
says: "I have reason to think that more men than fell in 
battle were slain in cold blood. No quarter was given to 
persons taken prisoners as rebels, with or without arms. For 
instance : fifty-four were shot in the little town of Carnew in 
the space of three days."^^^ A grim idea of the ferocity of the 

ments raised in the notably Orange distrifts of Ulster. The Armagh and 
Tyrone militia, together with a detachment of the North Corks, were 
stationed in Carlow county. Some of the proceedings of the Tyrone 
Orange militia have been already referred to in this chapter (p. 268). The 
Antrim militia were stationed in Wicklow. They took part with the local 
yeonianry in the massacres of Dunlavin and Carnew. On the open plains 
of Kildare the rebellion was suppressed almost as soon as it arose. In his 
letter to Portland, July 8, 1798, Cornwallis says that the militia are cowards, 
" but ferocious and cruel in the extreme when any poor wretches, either 
with or without arms, come within their power ; in short, murder appears 
to be their favourite pastime" (ii., 357). Cf. Lord Holland's Memoirs of the 
Whig Party, vol. i., pp. 111-112. 

^^^Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord Cornwallis, vol. ii, p. 369. 

^^°Ibid., p. 355. See the account given in Byrne's Memoirs of the 
murders committed by the runaway yeomanry after the battle of Oulart 
Hill. The writer, as a boy, heard the details of these proceedings from a 
venerable resident of the spot, John Cooney, who had witnessed the 

i^ip. 222. Contemporary Catholic writers and constant local tradi- 
tion in so far bear out Cornwallis's statements, by uniformly attributing 
the principal share in cold-blooded massacre to the yeomanry, the militia 
regiments mentioned above being, in sporting phrase, " a good second." 
The stigma of blood-thirstiness is not attached to any notable extent to the 



Orange yeomanry of the period is furnished by an incident 
related by Under-Secretary Cooke in a letter to Wickhani, 
dated July 28, 1798. Some seventy persons had been placed 
on their trial on the capital charge of rebellion or disaffedlion. 
There was no evidence against them, and they were liberated. 
This adl of natural justice excited the indignation of the Orange 
party and the yeomanry. " Our zealots and yeomen," Cooke 
writes, " do not relish this compromise, and there has been a 
fine buzz on the subjecfl:."^''^ 

A spirit not less ferocious pervaded the ascendency party, 
which included the whole Orange society, and was headed by 
the notorious Beresfords, of Riding-house fame. Lord 
Cornwallis says of them in his letter of July g, 1798, to the 
Duke of Portland (already quoted), that they " would pursue 
measures that could only terminate in the extirpation of the 
greater number of the inhabitants, and in the utter destrutflion 
of the country. The vvords Papists and Priests are for ever in 
their mouths, and by their unaccountable policy they would 
drive four-fifths of the community into irreconcileable rebel- 
lion."^''^ Elsewhere, the same distinguished Protestant noble- 
man tells how the conversation of the same party, even at his 
table, reeked of blood, and how they rejoiced when news was 
brought that a priest had been put to death. "^^^ Seventeen 
months after the outbreak of the tortured and maddened 
people had been quelled, he makes use of words which go far 
to show that the ascendency fadlion had frankly entered upon 
a war of proscription against Catholics, such as the first lodges 
had inaugurated in 1795. He writes : " The greatest difficulty 

English regiments drafted into Ireland to suppress the rising. Gordon (p. 
136) recounts an incident which was witnessed by his son, a yeomanry 
officer, after the encounter of Ballycanew, near Gorey. A yeoman,. after 
having wounded a child with a musket shot, urged his companion, another 
yeoman, to fire also. The incident, though trifling, is significant of the 
temper of the men. An official Memorandum on Wicklow county, August 
20, 1798, admits that even then, after the close of the rebellion, " adls of 
violence and revenge from the lower orders of yeomen have excited great 
alarm." Cornwallis Correspondence, vol. ii., pp. 385-386. General Sir John 
Moore, like Lord Cornwallis and General Sir Ralph Abercromby, indig- 
nantly protested against the barbarities committed upon the peasantry in 
1798. " If I were an Irishman" said Sir John, " I would be a rebel." 

i92incorporated with the Cornwallis Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 376. 

^^■^Ihid., p. 358. Compare the Orange use of the word Papist, supra, 
p. 158. Arthur O'Connor, the anti-Catholic leader of the United Irish- 
men, in his letter to the Press of January 2, 1798, describes the Orangemen 
as "a lawless banditti of sviorn extirpators." Madden's United Irishmen, 
Second Series, vol. ii. p. 300. 

ift^Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord Cornwallis, vol. ii., p. 369, letter 
to Major-General Ross, July 24, 1798. The insurredtion was at this time 



which I experience, is to control our loyal friends, who would, 
if I did not keep the stri(51:est hand upon them, convert the 
system of martial law (which, God knows, is of itself bad 
enough) into a more violent and intolerable tyranny than that 
of Robespierre. The vilest informers are hunted out from the 
prisons to attack, by the most barefaced perjury, the lives of 
all who are suspe6ted of being, or having been, disaffected ; and, 
indeed, every Roman Catholic of influence is in great danger." 
" I attempt," he adds, "to moderate that violence and cruelty 
which has once driven, and which, if tolerated, will again drive 
this wretched country into rebellion.'' ^^^ 

It would be easy to multiply quotations of this character 
from the letters of Lord Cornwallis, and from the works of 
other Protestant writers, as to the temper of the Orange party 
before and during the insurrection, and after the last fires of 
the revolt had been quenched in blood. Even in those wild 
days the leaders of the party threw over the workings of the 
fierce spirit of the institution the thin drapery of " qualifica- 
tions requisite for an Orangeman." The following is one of 
the many estimable qualities which the society nominally 
required of the Orange yeoman and civilian in those times : 
" Of an humane and compassionate disposition, and a courteous 
and affable behaviour, he should be an utter enemy to savage 
brutality and unchristian cruelty." 


The Irish Orange yeomanry never quite lost the taste for 
blood and outrage with which they had familiarised themselves 
from 1796 to the close of 1799. The subsequent course of 
their history is puncftuated at short and frequent intervals with 
outbursts of their old passions, which recall the wild days 
when they raged with sword, fire, lash, gibbet, and sharpened 
stake, in Leinster and the North. A long-suffering people 
fretted helplessly under their turbulence and disloyalty, until, 
in the end, the force was suppressed in the interests of public 
peace. A few fadts, selecfted out of many, will serve to give an 
idea of the temper of the yeomanry forces from the close of the 
rebellion onwards. I shall confine myself to three of the most 
serious crimes of which a military body of professional loyalists 
could well be guilty, namely : 

1. Murder and manslaughter ; 

2. Riotous behaviour ; 

3. Mutiny. 

7 and 2. On July 14, 1802, several unoffending people were 
shot by the DubHn yeomanry. Their officers connived at the 

^^^Ibid., vol. iii., p. 145. 



deed by declining all inquiry into it.^^® Four years later — in 
1806 — one Alexander Bell, a private in Colonel (then Major) 
Blacker's Orange yeomanry, made two brutal and very nearly 
successful attempts — one with a bayonet, the other with a 
hatchet — to murder a Catholic man named Birmingham. Our 
old friend, Colonel Blacker (who had been an Orangeman 
since 1795), allowed the would-be murderer to escape.^"' After 
three years (in 1809) the culprit was brought to justice. Baron 
McClelland, before whom he was tried, declared that the case 
was "one of pecuHar atrocity," and that "the prisoner was 
convicfted on the clearest testimony." Immediately after the 
trial Mr. Blacker waited on the judge, and requested him 
to commute the punishment to transportation, on the extra- 
ordinary plea — amounting to a threat — " that the prosecutors 
and those who had assisted in the prosecution would be 
murdered by the friends of the prisoner, if the prisoner was 
executed."^''* Bell was, nevertheless, hanged. And so little 
faith did the Government of the day place in the loyalty of the 
Orange yeomanry, that, in anticipation of an attempt on their 
part to rescue their comrade, five hundred men of the 90th 
regnnent, a troop of dragoons, and a detachment of the royal 
artillery, with their field pieces, were drafted to Portadown 
for the occasion. -^^^ 

In 1806, an Orangeman was placed under arrest for the 
murder of a diminutive tailor. He was rescued, on his way 
to jail, by two of the Benburb Orange yeomen. One of them 
with a drawn sword, and the other with a cocked pistol, 
threatened the life of the constable unless he released his 
prisoner. -°° Mr. Wilson, an Ulster Protestant magistrate, 
who relates the incident, appealed to the commanding officer 
of the Benburb yeomanry to apprehend the rescuers. The 
officer san(5tioned their conduct by declining to interfere, and 
neither they nor the murderer were ever brought to justice. 

In April of the same year (1806), Colonel Verner's Orange 
yeomanry burned and plundered the house of an unoffending 
Catholic hatter named Constantine O'Neill, and fired several 
shots at him and his wife. The culprits (who were said to 
have included the Colonel's own sons) were never brought to 

i96piowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. iii., pp. 760-761. 

^^"^ Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Seledl Committee of 1835, Q. 9300. 

i98Letterof Baron McClelland to the Government, dated August i, 
i8og, given in full in " M.P.'s" History of Orangeism, pp. 116-117. 

i^spiowden says that iioo yeomen assembled in the neighbourhood 
for the purpose of rescuing the murderer. Ireland from its Union, vol. iii., 
p. 762. 

2oo]y[i- Wilson was an English Protestant gentleman resident iu 
Ulster. For further particulars regarding him, see chap, xiv., infra. 



justice. The results of this miscarriaj^'e of justice are thus' 
stated by Mr. Wilson, in a memorial addressed by him to the 
Chief Secretary, bearinf^ date July i, iHoG : " Many daring 
and atrocious violences have been committed against these 
poor people [the Catholics] by a banditti calling themselves 
yeomen and Orangemen, who, with arms in their hands, bid 
defiance to the law and its ministers.'"'*^ 

At the July demonstration in r8o8, I'\'ither Diiane, parish 
priest of Mounlrath, was barbarously murdered in his own 
house by a body of three hundred Orange yeomen. The 
following year a Catholic man named Cavanagh was murdered 
by the same body at the same place; and on the same first of 
July a priest was shot at his own house by armed yeomanry 
at Bailieboroiigh, in the county of Cavan. In none of these 
instances were the murderers brought to justice.^'' At Corin- 
shiga, near Nowry, eighteen yeomen " fully armed and 
accoutred," without the slightest pretence at provocation, fired 
into what fourteen local Prot(;stant magistrates termed a 
defenceless crowd of " men, women and children, occupi(;d in 
an innocent and usual recreation." One person — a youth 
named McKeown — was killed; others were severely wounded. 
Themurderers were never brought to justice. A few days later 
their comrades, on returning from parade, fired a volley, by way 
of bravado, over the house occupied by McKeown, the father 
of the murdered boy.'"*" 

In 1810 a man named Geehan, and a Quaker lady (Miss 
Martin) were deliberately, and without the slightest provoca- 
tion, done to death by the ICnniscorthy yeomanry. Such was 
the demoralisation of the force that, although the murderers 
were well known, no proceedings were taken against them.'-*"^ 
On the eve of July I2lh, in the following year (iHi i), the local 
yeomanry engaged in a street row at Derrygonnelly, in the 

sofWilgQn's Letters, p. 31. Kev. Dr. Conwell, in pressing for a proficr 
investic,'ation into this outrage, said to Mr, Sergeant Moore, one of the 
law-officers of the Crown, that "he only wanted such an investigation as 
might be the means of permitting his people [the Catholics] to live in 
peace, but that it was well known that the inhabitants in Mr. Verner's 
neighbourhood stood in such drear! of that gentleman and his yeomen and 
his Orangemen, that they would not dare to state anything which could 
affedl him or his party." Quoted by " Nil'.," p. 121. 

^"'''l-'lowden, Ireland from tin IJnion, vol. iii., pp. 7^2-703. 

^"'■'Ihid., pp. 712-714. i'lowdcn gives in fijll a copy of the reward 
offered for such information as would lead to the convi(ition of the offenders. 
Fourteen magistrates each contributed ^22 15s. towarrjs the reward. The 
bond of lodge rule, however, coupled with the favour shown to the Orange 
society by the anti-Catholic Richmond administration, defeated the ends 
of justice. 

:''•-* /bid., pp. 887-888. 



county of Fermanagh. Finding themselves unequal to the 
opposing facftion, they retreated to their barracks, seized their 
muskets, returned, and fired upon the people. One man was 
killed outright. Kitson, the yeoman who shot him, absconded 
to America. On his return to the distri(5l, he was acquitted 
by an Orange jury.^°® 

On midsummer-eve, 1830, a body of armed Orangemen, 
whose movements suggested the presence of yeomanry, sur- 
rounded a field in which a number of young people were, with 
the owner's permission, enjoying an innocent annual 
festival.^"® One of the Orangemen killed a Catholic named 
McGlade with a dagger. Several other members of the group 
of merry-makers were also stabbed or otherwise wounded by 
the Orange assailants. Through the friendly verdidl of a jury 
of Orangemen, two of the attacking party, who had been put 
on their trial for murder, got off with twelve months' imprison- 
ment each. On their release, one of them was taken into the 
police force, on the recommendation of Dean Carter, an 
Orangeman noted for his violence in those days. The other 
was admitted to membership of Dr. Patten's Orange yeomanry 
of Tanderagee. Dean Carter — who was a magistrate — refused 
to receive the informations sworn against the other accom- 
plices of the midsummer-eve tragedy.""' It would be an easy, 
if ungracious, task to multiply instances of yeomanry outrages, 
which, through the criminal connivance of the officers, and the 
acftive sympathy of the Orange magistrates, were allowed to go 

In the course of the celebrated charge which he delivered 
at the Wexford Summer Assizes in 1814, Judge Fletcher 
tells of the demoralisation and turbulance which he had 

205See Minutes of Evidence, Parliamentary Seledt Committee of 1S35, 
Qq. 7313, sgg., p. 75. The local magistrates refused to take the necessary 
depositions for Kitson's arrest. They were severely reprimanded for their 
condudl by Judge Osborne at the ensuing assizes. I find in my notes a quo- 
tation from the Times of June 14, 1813, telling how, on the 27th of the 
previous month, "an honest, industrious tradesman" named Phil Mahon 
was treacherously stabbed through the back, at Clones, with a bayonet, 
by an "Orange yeoman," one Thomas Rooney. "Another loyal Orange 
yeoman" came up and, with his bayonet, mangled the dead body of 

206]V[r. McConnell, one of the witnesses examined by the Seledl Com- 
mittee of 1835, says (Q. 6389) there was no distindion of party or sedl at 
the little celebration, and believes that both Protestants and Catholics 
took part in it. 

'^^''Mmutes of Evidence, Pari. Seledl Committee of 1835. Qq. 6388, sqq.; 
of. 3217, 3325, etc. Details of the McCuster outrage are given at Q. 7336. 
Yeomen broke into McCuster's house, broke his arms and legs, and were 
allowed to get off scot-free by an Orange jury. The matter was ventilated 
in Parliament. 



himself witnessed among the Orange yeomanry ot Ulster. 
" There," said he, " those disturbers of the public peace, who 
assume the name of Orange yeomen, frequent the fairs and 
markets, with arms in their hands, under the pretence of 
self-defence, or of protecfting the public peace, but with the 
lurking views of inviting attacks from the Ribbonmen, confi- 
dent that, armed as they are, they must overcome defenceless 
opponents and put them down. Murders have been repeatedly 
perpetrated on such occasions, and, though legal prosecutions have 
ensued, yet, such have been the baneful consequences of these 
factious associations, that, under their influence, petty juries 
have declined, upon some occasions, to do their duty. These 
fa6is have fallen under my own view."^^ 


3. The No-Popery cry and the anti-Emancipation agitation 
were enthusiastically taken up by the Orange yeomanry, and 
furnished the occasion for many acls of mutiny and violence on 
their part. A few instances in point will suffice. During the 
No-Popery agitation of i8og, the Bandon Orange yeomanry 
(numbering 600 men) mutinied twice on parade — once on the 
first of July, and again on the sixth. On the former occasion 
they marched through the town, wearing Orange lilies, etc., 
in their uniforms, contrary to military regulations. The 
officers, " expecfling there would be some disturbance and 
insult offered to the Catholic inhabitants," got before them 
and gave them the order to dismiss. They refused to obey. 
Their commanding officer, the Earl of Bandon — a strong sup- 
porter of Orangeism — reported to head-quarters regarding 
the subsequent parade, that, " to show their defiance, they 
[the yeomen] all wore Orange lilies on parade on the 
sixth." They were reprimanded for their conducft by 
the Earl of Bandon and Colonel Oriel, and ordered either 
to lay aside their Orange emblems or to ground their 
arms. They threiv doivn their arms and accoutrements. By the 
military laws then in force, the mutinous yeomen were guilty 
of felony. The only punishment inflicfled on them was the 
disbandment of the corps. The official correspondence of the 
Earl of Bandon with the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces 
in Ireland on the conducft of the Bandon and Ballyaneen corps 
gives an interesting picfture of the bigotry and demoralisation 
of the IMunster yeomanry at this period. ^°^ 

"^^^Judge Fletcher's Charge, Irish Press Agency, 1886. 

^ospiowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. iii., pp. 763-765. See also 
Minutes of Evidence, Irish Report oi 1835, and "M.P.'s'' History oj Orangeism, 
pp. 137-138; also App. Bi, Irish Report, pp. iS sqq. 

305 T 


At the Kilkenny Summer Assizes in 1810, Edward Howard, 
an Orangeman and member of Mathews' yeomanry corps, was 
put upon his trial for the murder of a Catholic youth named 
Wilham Butler. One of the witnesses for the defence — a 
comrade of the prisoner's — admitted on cross-examination that 
every man in the corps was a sworn Orangeman, and that 
both he and all his fellows understood themselves to be 
released from their oath of allegiance to the King, should his 
Majesty consent to grant Catholic Emancipation.^^" 

In the same year (1810) the Bann and Warringstown 
Orange yeomanry threw down their arms and belts rather than 
parade with the Scarvagh corps, because there were six Catholics 
in its ranks. The Scarvagh (Upper Iveagh) corps joined in the 
mutiny in the hopes of thus getting their six Catholic comrades 
dismissed. Mutiny in this, as in most other similar cases, was 
encouraged, and demoralisation fomented, by being permitted 
to go almost wholly unpunished. Only one man in the three 
rebellious corps was dismissed.'^" A similar a6l of mutiny 
occurred in the Moira yeomanry corps. Their commanding 
officer, Mr. W. S. Crawford, M.P., in his examination before 
the Parliamentary Seledt Committee of 1835, declined to say 
that the Irish yeomanry had any inclination for " supporting 
the laws."^^^ 

During the Emancipation agitation instances occurred in 
which the Ulster yeomanry mutinied against officers who had 
signed petitions in favour of the Catholic claims. Lieutenant 
Barnes, a Presbyterian officer of the Armagh yeomanry, having 
signed such a petition, the men under his command absolutely 
refused to serve unless he were dismissed for his display of 
kindly feeling towards his Catholic fellow-countrymen. The 
mutineers were dismissed by Lieutenant-General Mackenzie. 
The remainder of the corps were mustered again. They also 
mutinied on parade. In a history of the city of Armagh, 
James Stuart, an Orange writer, thus describes what took 
place : '' The corps was re-assembled, and the officers used 

2ioin the case of The King at the prosecution of Butler v. Howard. 
Plowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. iii., pp. 756-757. Plowden's work 
was published in 1811, and contains copy of verdidt, newspaper extradt, 
etc., regarding the case. 

2iiSee Plowden, op. cit., pp. 890-891; cf. Minutes of Evidence, Irish 
Report of 1835 ; " M.P.," p. 138. The incident related above was made the 
subjedt of an official report to the Government by Brigade-Major Wallace, 
who details the efforts made by himself, and other officers and gentlemen 
present, "to convince the men of the enormity of such behaviour as an 
armed body, and the fatal consequences to the public service, as well as 
the great illiberality and impolicy of entertaining such sentiments and 
feelings for our Catholic fellow-subjedts." 

^'^^Minuies of Evidence, Q. 5803. 



every argument which prudence and loyalty could have sug- 
gested to bring the malcontents to a due sense of their 
misconducft. Every effort proved abortive. '"^^^ The rebellious 
corps had to be disbanded. 

In May, 1828, an anti-Emancipation riot took place at 
Lurgan. The houses of many Catholics were wrecked. The 
Riot A(5l was read by Mr. Handcock, a Protestant magistrate, 
who subsequently narrated the day's proceedings before the 
Parliamentary Sele(5l Committee of 1835. The magistrates 
called on one Douglas, the permanent sergeant of the local 
Orange yeomanry, to assemble his men, as in duty bound, to 
suppress the riot. Douglas refused, and puncftuated his 
refusal with a personal insult to Mr. Handcock. As a matter 
of fa(ft, Douglas's men were at the time in the thick of the 
tumult, and the magistrates found it necessary to remove the 
yeomanry weapons from his custody. Nine of the rioters were 
arrested. On their way to Portadown jail they were accom- 
panied by the local Orange band, playing the party melodies 
which the brethren love to hear.^" 

Before the passing of the Emancipation Bill, and for some 
time afterwards, by command of the Viceroy, the Duke of 
Northumberland, stricSl orders were issued that the yeomen 
were not to take part in Orange processions, even in the garb 
of private citizens. Participation in such displays was sub- 
sequently made illegal in Ireland by the Party Processions 
Acft of 1832. The Killyman, Cameroy, and other Ulster yeo- 
manry, officers and men, according to the official evidence of 
Lord Gosford and others, flouted both the military regulations 
and the Acfl of Parliament. ^^* Their turbulence, combined 
with their skill in the use of weapons, made them the most 
formidable element in the illegal and violent Orange assemblies 
which for years defied the forces of the Crown, and spread 
terror over the face of Ulster.^'*^ Their conducft from 1825 to 
1835 led Sir Frederick Stoven, a Protestant Inspecftor-General 

2i376j(f., Qq. 3334, 3773-3774 ; Appendix of Irish Report, pp. 80-81. 

'^'^■^Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Seleft Committee of 1835, QQ- 79^3 ^??- 
The riot arose in this way : A report had been spread in Lurgan that the 
Cathohc Bill had been thrown out in Committee. Flags were hoisted on 
the church of Rev. Holt Waring — an Orange clergyman noted for his 
violence in those days ; an Orange mob paraded the streets ; and then the 
house-wrecking began. Cf. Qq. 7922, 7937. 

•''-^Minutes 0/ Evidence, Pari. Seleft Committee of 1835, Q. S070. Colonel 
Blacker, our informant for the Diamond affair, was one of the offending 
"loyalists." See Appendices B, Third Irish Report. 

2i6Yeomanry muskets, swords, bayonets, etc., appear to have been 
very frequently carried in processions or incursions of Orangemen not in 
uniform. This was the case, for instance, at Annahagh, in 1835, at Dun- 



of Constabulary, to thus refer to them before the Parhainentary 
Committee on Orange lodges that for the past ten years they 
were " quite useless, and more than useless in my opinion ; I 
think they are dangerous."^" In August, 1835, Mr. Hume 
declared in the House of Commons that the Irish yeomanry 
were " all Orange." 


The history of the Orange soldiery presents few, if any, 
acflions of which loyalty can be stated with certainty to be the 
sole, or even the principal, guiding motive. Their conducft, as 
a body, is wholly inconsistent with their claim or title of 
loyalty. Their behaviour before, during, and for long after 
the insurretflion which they did so much to provoke in 1798, is 
quite in keeping with a cruel and vindictive hatred of four- 
fifths of their fellow-countrymen, with a disregard of civil and 
military law and natural right, and with a lack of common 
human feeling which surpasses that of the Jacobins of France, 
or of the troops whom the Duke of Alva let loose upon a 
foreign people in the Netherlands. No friend of peace and 
good order can regret the disappearance of the Orange 
yeomanry corps from Irish public life. The mantle of their 
spirit has happily not fallen on any military organisation that 
now wears the uniform of the British army. If we seek for 
their counterpart in the Europe of our day, we must look for 
it among the Turkish irregulars who have repeated, in 
Bulgaria and Armenia, the atrocities which desolated a portion 
of Ireland at the close of the last century, and which led to the 
bitter struggle that has left an enduring mark on Irish life and 

gannon, and many other places. Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Selefi: Com- 
mittee of 1835, Qq. 3474, 3613, etc. 

'^''■'^ Minutes of Evidence, Q. 4778. Cf. Qq. 4211-4212, 7315-7317, 8799. 
See also Qq. 4340, 4341, 4550, 5349, 5628-5630, 9386, which show that at 
that time the greater part of the yeomanry were Orangemen. 



Chapter XIV* 


In the course of his inaugural address on the American 
Constitution, Thomas Jefferson said that one of the funda- 
mental principles which had guided his country " through an 
age of revolution and reformation" was, " equal and exa(5t 
justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or 
political," Every well-regulated nation places the administra- 
tion of justice, as far as possible, above the reach even of 
suspicion; and there are few greater signs of loss of moral 
fibre among a people than venality or partisanship seated shame- 
lessly on the judicial bench or in the jury-box. The essence 
of persecution is injustice, not cruelty. Cruelty is but an 
aggravating circumstance, which deepens the wrong and the 
sense of wrong, and stimulates to feelings of revenge. The 
circumstances ordinarily surrounding the administration of 
justice forbid this funcflion being regarded as a merely civic 
duty, unrelated to a higher law. Even in the eyes of the 
State, the justice on the bench fulfils a sacred office. He is 
invested with it only after, and on condition of, the perform- 
ance of a solemn aft of religion: to wit, an oath before high 
Heaven that he will faithfully discharge the trust bestowed 
upon him. Under the British Crown every justice is required 
to "sincerely promise and swear" as follows: "I will at all 
times and in all things do equal justice to the poor and to the 
rich, and discharge the duties of my office according to law, 
and to the best of my knowledge and ability, without fear, 
favour, or affecftion. So help me God." Jurors, after having 
been empannelled, are sworn to " well and truly try the issue, 
and a true verdicft give according to the evidence."^ 

iThere is a slight difference in the wording of the jurors' oath in cases 
of felony, misdemeanour, and civil cases. See Harris, Principles of the 
Criminal Law. 6th ed., p. 412. 



It will be borne in mind that two chief elements in what is 
termed the " basis" of Orangeism are the support, mainten- 
ance and defence of the laws and constitution of the country. 
An Orange newspaper, the Dublin Daily Express, thought it 
" a libel on the British Constitution" that it should need the 
services of a secret society to uphold it.^ The Melbourne 
Argus — which no one will venture to accuse of undue leniency 
to Catholics — found food for merriment in the idea of the same 
organisation preparing to " defend" four-fiths of the popula- 
tion of the colony from the " encroachments" of the remaining 
fifth. The phrases "maintenance of the law," "defence of the 
Constitution," are intended by the brethren principally tc 
beguile the public ear.* There is nothing in the pradtice ol 
the lodges which bears out these professions. There is very 
much that contradidts them. This may be seen by reference 
to the lodge proceedings which were brought to light by the 
Parliamentary Committees of 1835, and by the Belfast Royal 
Commission of 1857. The professions of loyalty just referred 
to are but bits of fine declamation in which secret societies are 
apt to indulge for the purpose of cloaking other objecfts. They 
resemble the agreeable nonsense-talk or " patter" of the 
professional conjurer, the scope of which is to tickle the minds 
of the audience, and to turn away their attention from what the 
" professor" and his assistants are really about. 

In the course of the last four chapters I have dealt in 
some detail with the manner in which the rank and file of the 
Orange society, and many of its leaders, "maintained and 
supported the laws of their country." The special purpose of 
this chapter is to inquire into the conducfl of those members of 
the association who were more especially charged with the 
administration of the law, namely: Orange magistrates and 
Orange jurors. In appraising at its true worth the loyalty of 
the Orange organisation, it will be interesting to see to what 
extent these two responsible classes of its members have been 
guided in their official acftion by obedience to law, respecft for 
personal right, regard for the sancftity of their oaths. 


The shadow of judicial crime has followed the steps of the 
Orange society through every stage of its history. For over a 
hundred years the disregard of Orange magistrates and jurors 
for their oaths has been public and notorious. It constitutes 

^Quoted by " M. P.," History of Orangeism, p. 238. Lord Palmerston 
gave utterance to almost precisely similar sentiments, in replying to a 
deputation of Irish Orangemen. See note 66, infra. 

3See pp. 143 sqq. 



to this day a grave scandal in the administration of justice in 
those portions of the province of Ulster in which Orangeism 
still remains a power. The partiality of the brethren on the 
bench and in the jury-box has been the theme of debates and 
motions in Parhament ; it has been referred to, time and again, 
in terms of scathing rebuke from the judicial bench, and of 
indignant protest from the bar ; it has been the subjecft of 
reports by magistrates, Royal Commissions, Parliamentary 
Committees ; it has on several occasions compelled even a 
partisan Executive to dismiss some of the most flagrant offenders 
from the Commission of the Peace, and to make other attempts 
to mitigate this grave and old-standing public scandal. Ex- 
posure, protest, official adlion, have been alike in vain. The 
evil continues rampant in Ulster to this hour. Nor can it be 
pleaded in extenuation that the governing body of the Orange 
association had no knowledge of the state of affairs. A matter 
so notorious could not have failed to come time and again 
within the searching cognisance of men whose care extends 
even to the marriages, votes, and other intimately private 
concerns even of their meanest members. In facfl, some of 
the worst offenders on the bench were certain of the Ennis- 
killens, Verners, Blackers, and other former members of the 
Irish Grand Lodge. In the course of previous chapters of 
this volume the reader has seen that Orangemen have re- 
peatedly been expelled from the society for such enormities as 
" marrying a Papist," " voting against their Grand Master," 
favouring Catholic Emancipation, etc. But in all the private 
lodge and Grand Lodge documents which were brought into 
the light of day by the Parliamentary SelecTt Committees of 
1835 and the Belfast Royal Commission of 1857, there is not 
a single instance of an Orange magistrate or juror having been 
even mildly rebuked for that partiality in the administration 
of justice which must for ever remain a blot upon the 'scutcheon 
of the institution. On the contrary, we find instances of offend- 
ing justices being lionised as heroes,* of criminals being pro- 

*Among the justices who were dismissed from the Commission of the 
Peace, were Messrs. Greer, Blacker, Beers (the hero of Dolly's Brae), Lord 
Rossmore, and many others. Beers was feted after the Dolly's Brae 
massacre ; Col. Verner, after Constantine O'Neil had failed to get legal 
satisfa6lion against his two sons. Readers of the Irish Times and the Daily 
Express for December, 1883, and the two following months, and of the 
Victorian Standard of the time, will recoiled the ferment created among the 
lodges by Lord Rossmore being deprived of the Commission of the Peace. 
Pie, too, was feted and lionised by the Orange party. Lord Roden, another 
prominent Orange leader, was struck off the list of the magistrates of 
county Down in 1850. On this occasion he also was made the recipient of 
addresses, etc., by the brethren (Hansard, March 14, 1870, p. 1900). 
Captain Coote also became a hero of the lodges after his dismissal from tha 


tecfled and" defended, and of the Government being hampered 
in its acftion by the society's leaders, when official efforts were 
put forth by the Executive, for very shame's sake, to straighten 
the ways of justice in the North. The Orange association 
has, in fac5l, proved itself a great Tammany ring. Some of its 
illegal adtivities have been already pointed out. Judged, as 
we may fairly judge it, by its atftions and their naturally and 
presumably intended results, it is hardly unjust to conclude 
that, among the other objeifts referred to in previous chapters, 
it has likewise the two following life-aims in view : 

1. To shield Orange misdemeanants and criminals from 
the legal consequences of their misdeeds. 

2. To deprive Catholics, as far as lies in their power, of 
the legal prote(5tion and the judicial rights guaranteed them 
by the Emancipation Acft of 1829, the passing of which, says 
the Presbyterian historian, Killen, drove them "almost to 
madness."^ Such a course of adlion is, in efifecft, an attempt to 
revive, at least on a small scale, and as far as circumstances 
will permit, the good old days of the " glorious Constitution " 
of William III., under which five-sixths of the Irish nation 
were placed outside the protecftion of the law. 

The evidence which favours these two conclusions exists in 
melancholy profusion down the whole course of Orange his- 
tory : so much so, that one experiences a real difficulty in 
making a sele6lion of instances in point. 


Disregard of the elements of legal, and even of natural, 
justice, seems to have spread like a contagion to magistrates 
who came within the influence of the society even in the early 
stages of its career. In the course of the second chapter, 
reference has been made to the partiality shown to the Peep-o'- 
Day Boys, and to the cruelties illegally inflidted on Catholic 
suspecfta by Lord Carhampton and by magistrates whose 
sympathies lay with the first phase of the Orange movement. 
The fourth chapter describes the Reign of Terror with which 
the lodge era of the Orange society was inaugurated : the 
frequent murders, the wholesale intimidation, banishment, and 
plunder of the CathoHc population of Armagh and the neigh- 
bouring counties. The Earl of Gosford, then Governor of 

shrievalty of Monaghan, and his case was supported in Parliament by 
Orange M's.P. (Hansard, ibid., pp. 1877, sqq). The same is true of Lord 
Rossmore, who was deprived of the Commission of the Peace on November 
24, 1884, for his condud in connexion with an Orange counter-demonstra- 
tion at Rosslea. See Dublin Daily Express for December, 1883. and the 
following months. 

''£ccks. Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., p. 463. 


JUSTICE: 1795-1796. 

Armagh, after referring to the horrors of the Orange outrages on 
the CathoUc inhabitants, said in his address to the assembled 
magistrates of the county : " The spirit of impartial justice, 
without which law is nothing better than an instrument of 
tyranny, has for a time disappeared in the country, and the 
supineness of the magistracy of Armagh is become a common 
topic of conversation in every corner of the kingdom."" In the 
Irish House of Commons, February 21, 1796, Grattan declared 
that " the inhabitants of Armagh have been acftually put out 
of the protecftion of the law ; the magistrates have been 
supine or partial ; and the horrid banditti [the Orange- 
men] have met with complete success, and from the 
magistracy very little discouragement,"' Lord Camden, 
the Viceroy, stated in January, 1796, that "acfls of the 
greatest outrage and barbarity against their Catholic neigh- 
bours" were being then perpetrated by the Orangemen. 
" This," he continues, " has been owing to the magistrates in 
that county [Armagh] having imbibed the prejudices which 
belong to it."* The Memoir of the Union presented to the 
Government by Emmet, O'Connor, and McNevin, also refers 
to the encouragement which the Ulster magistrates, by their 
policy of masterly inacftivity, gave to the rioters at this period. 
In his Pieces of Irish History, McNevin tells of the prosecutions 
instituted by the Executive of the United Irish Society 
*' against some of the most notorious offenders, and some of the 
most guilty magistrates."^ The prosecutions were un- 
successful. Their only apparent result was, says McNevin, 
"to redouble the outrages," and to leave the country more 
hopelessly than ever at the mercy of a merciless mob. 

In debating the Insurre(ftion Bill in the Irish Parliament, 
Sir Laurence Parsons said of the Orange magistrates of 
Armagh : " In that county it had been frequently proved on 
oath that several magistrates refused to take the examinations 

^Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 431. 

''Killen, Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. ii., p. 365. Plowden gives abundant 
evidence for Grattan's statement. Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd,, 
pp. 41-42, 48. According to Plowden, not a single magistrate of Armagh 
county was deprived of the Commission of the Peace, although many of 
them were believed to have encouraged the perpetration of those Orange 
outrages. Cf. Walpole, Kingdom 0/ Ireland, chap, xv., pp. 436-457, and note 
9, infra. 

^Letter to Portland, January 22, 1796, quoted by Froude, English in 
Ireland, vol. iii., p. 178, note. 

"Plowden gives instances of Mr. Ford and " several other magistrates " 
having disarmed their Catholic tenants, the arms thus secured being 
almost immediately placed in the hands of Orangemen "to be employed 
in the extermination of the disarmed owners." Ireland from its Union, vol. 
i., Introd., pp. 25-26. 



of the injured Catholics. By some of these magistrates they 
had been most cruelly persecuted ; others would hear them 
only out of the window, and some a(5tually turned them from 
the door with threats. If such men were to be entrusted with 
the power of transporting men at pleasure, what was to be 
expecfted but the most gross and flagrant violation of justice ? " ^° 
Reference to the doings of Messrs. Verner, Ford, Greer, and 
other prominent Orange magistrates will supply abundant 
proof in point." When, however, a number of the extermin- 
ators were proceeded against at the Armagh Spring Assizes in 
1796, the witnesses for the prosecution, although escorted by 
dragoons, were intimidated, waylaid, maimed, or murdered. 
Only eleven of the "atrocious banditti" were sentenced. Of 
these one only — a Dissenter — was hanged. The remainder 
were liberated at the solicitation of friendly magistrates.^^ 

The Quaker eye-witness, Mr. Christie, testified to the 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835 as to the murders and other 
grave crimes committed against Catholics in his districfl by the 
Orange party in r7g5 and 1796. The Committee queried: 
" Did you ever hear of a man having been prosecuted or 
punished for those attacks upon the houses by wrecking and 
burning, and for the murders that were perpetrated ? " Mr. 
Christie replied : " I do not, I think, recolledl: any instance of 
a person being prosecuted at that period for those offences, for 
no investigation took place ; the magistrates were supine and 
inacflive ; they did not exert themselves in the manner that I, 
and that many others who wished the peace of the country, 
thought they should have atfted." Referring to this early 
period of lodge violence, Lecky says: "It is impossible to 
resist the conclusion that some of the magistrates shamefully 
tolerated or connived at the outrages. "^^ 

The same spirit followed the spread of Orangeism to the 
South, where — as has been shown in the last chapter— lodge 
law speedily turned the civil law into an instrument of the 
worst tyranny. Early in 1798 — before the outbreak of the 
rebellion — ^at the Queen's County Assizes, gentry and barristers 
wore in court the emblems of the society ; and what Lecky 
terms" " Orange fanaticism" had already invaded the temples 
of justice in the South to such an extent as to call forth " an 
earnest remonstrance" to the Government from the pen of a 

if^Quoted by Plowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., pp. 41-42 

^^Ibid., pp. 25, sgq. 

^"^Ibid., p. 29. 

^^/reland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii., p. 446; cf. p. 437. 

^'*'Ibid., vol. iv., p. 240; cf. Jndp;e Fletcher's words, in/ru, 



paid informer, McNally/® regarding the shameful manner in 
which the lives of the unhappy Catholic prisoners were being 
gambled away. 


In the course of the last chapter abundant reference was 
made to the illegal inflicftion of torture, death, etc., frequently 
without trial, by Orange or philo-Orange justices, and by 
yeomanry officers (many of whom were magistrates) during 
the wild times of the Inc^isition of 1797-1799. Perhaps the 
most powerful indicftment extant of the partisanship of Orange 
magistrates and jurors is contained in the correspondence 
addressed to the Government by Mr. Wilson, to whom brief 
reference has been made in the last chapter. Mr. Wilson was 
an English Protestant gentleman, a former Member of the 
British Parliament, and a relative of the Duke of Richmond. 
He had long resided in Tyrone county, of which he was a 
magistrate. His home lay close to the place where the first 
lodge was founded; where the Reign of Terror of 1795-1796 
was inaugurated; where lived the Blackers,Verners, Atkinsons, 
and other Orange magistrates, whose freaks upon the bench 
afforded him exceptional opportunities for observation. His 
letters and narrative, published in 1807 and 1808, are 
crowded with fadls and details of crying hardship. These 
have never been set aside, and form one of the blackest records 
of the judicial crime that stains the annals of Orange history. 
Mr. Wilson's opinion of Orange magistrates and jurors, formed 
after a personal experience of many years, is thus summed up in 
a letter written to the secretary of the Lord Lieutenant (Mr. 
Elliott) on the case of Constantine O'Neill : " It is with great 
concern that I feel warranted to declare that, where an Orange- 
man and a Roman Catholic are concerned, a most disgraceful 
partiality in favour of the former governs the proceedings of 
nine out of ten of the magistrates in the part of the kingdom I 
reside in."'" In another portion of his correspondence he 
states : " That there was scarce an outrage, however flagitious, 
which could be committed in his [Wilson's] quarter of the 
kingdom against a Roman Catholic by an Orangeman that, by 
some means or other, did not generally pass unnoticed, but 

i^Lecky, op. cit., pp. 239-240, 292. The Viceroy, Camden, admitted 
that in the assizes referred to, " the juries were almost too anxious to con- 
vi(ft." A great number of death-sentences, said McNally, were passed, 
not so much from evidence, as for the purpose of " making examples" (pp. 
23S, 240). 

isQuoted by " M.P.," Hist, of Orajtgeism, p. 120. Some details about 
Wilson will be found in Plowden's Ireland jrom its Union, vol. i., Introd., 
p. 52, note. 



always unpunished to the extent of its enormity ; that, in 
matters of dispute between Roman Catholics and Orangemen, 
a most disgraceful partiality in favour of the latter governed 
the proceedings of nine in ten of the magistrates in his district; 
that the murderer, the forger, and the felon were, when Orange- 
men, protetfted and screened from justice by the Orange magis- 
tracy, and bills of indidtment suppressed or smothered by Orange 
officials ; and lastly, that the man who had hardihood sufficient 
to proteift a Roman Catholic subjedled himself not only to 
obloquy, but to personal danger."" Mr. Wilson applied to 
have his Commission extended to the neighbouring county of 
Armagh (on the border of which he lived), with a view to 
protecfting the poor Catholics " who," as Mitchel says, " lived 
in daily and nightly terror under the shadow of the original 
Orange lodge, and in the neighbourhood which had been the 
scene of the ' Hell-or-Connaught' exterminations ten years 
earlier."'^ His application was refused. His well-meant 
effi)rts only brought upon him the vengeance of the Orange 
party. One solitary voice crying in the wilderness could not 
stem the " wanton oppression and official connivance which," 
says Mitchel, " made the North of Ireland itself a hell for the 
Catholic people during many a year since, and which is by no 
means over at this day."^^ 


In 1810 — two years after the publication of Wilson's last 
pamphlet — Judge Fox, a Protestant, was on the North-West 
circuit. He found it necessary to severely reprimand the 
Orange, or mostly Orange, juries, for their display of sedlarian 
animosity in court. About the same time Judge Johnson, when 
in Donegal, had the courage to pass a strong censure on the 
great supporter of the Orange party. Lord Abercorn, for a 
serious ad: of peculation committed by him against the Govern- 
ment and the ratepayers.^^ Four years later, in 1814, Judge 
Fletcher delivered his great charge to the Wexford jury. In 
the course of this remarkable pronouncement, while enumerat- 

^''Ihid., p. 123. 

^^Hist. of Ireland, vol. ii., chap, xii., p. 117. 

^^Ibid. Wilson was burned m effigy, with the sanAion of Col. Verner ; 
he was almost beaten to death by Orange processionists ; his range of out- 
buildings, filled with hay, was burned in one night ; and his importunities 
to the Chief Secretary and the Lord Chancellor for Ireland on behalf of his 
persecuted neighbours led to his being deprived of the Commission of the 
Peace by the anti-Catholic administration of the day. The hostility of the 
lodges finally compelled him to fly the country. 

2 0For further particulars of Judges Fox and Johnson, and of the 
attacks made upon them by the Orange party, see preface by Mr. Clancy, 
M.P., to Judge Fletcher's Charge. Irish Press Agency, London, 1886. 



ing the evils from which the country was at the time suffering, 
he says : " In the next place, the country has seen a magistracy 
over acftive in some instances, and quite supine in others. This 
circumstance has materially afFecSted the administration of the 
laws in Ireland. In this respedt I have found that those 
societies called Orange societies have produced most mis- 
chievous effecfts, and particularly in the North of Ireland. 
They poison the very fount of justice ; and even some magis- 
trates under their influence have in too many instances violated 
their duty and their oaths." Referring to the riotous behaviour 
of the Orange yeomanry at fairs and markets, Judge Fletcher 
continues : " Murders have been repeatedly perpetrated [by 
the armed yeomen] on such occasions, and though legal pro- 
ceedings have ensued, yet, such have been the baneful 
consequences of these associations, that, under their influence 
petty juries have declined upon some occasions to do their duty. 
These fa6ts have fallen under my own view. It was sufficient to 
say such a man displayed such a colour, to produce an utter 
disbelief in his testimony ;^^ or, when another has stood with 
his hand at the bar, the display of his party badge has 
mitigated the murder into manslaughter." " ' I am a loyal 
man,' says a witness ; that is : ' Gentlemen of the petty jury, 
believe me, let me swear what I will.' When he swears he is 
a loyal man, he means : ' Gentlemen of the jury, forget your 
oaths, and acquit the Orangemen.'" Judge Fletcher comments 
strongly on the " highly indecorous, unfeeling, and unjust " 
condudt of magistrates, and " the grievous mischiefs " arising 
therefrom, and tells his hearers how he said to Lord Redesdale 
(then Lord Chancellor): " Reform the magistracy of Ireland, 
my lord. You have the power to do this ; and until you do it, 
in vain will you expecft tranquility or content in the country." 
In the twenties a series of able pamphlets were brought 
out by the well-known publicist, W. J. Battersby, Winetavern 
Street, Dublin. One of them — the second — was addressed to 
the Orangemen of Ireland. It contains a list of some recent 
murders by Orangemen, which had been allowed to go " unre- 
quitted and unrevenged," because " the sheriff, the jurors, the 
witnesses, were all Orangemen." " It is not alone," said the 
writer, " that the Catholics are liable to be murdered by 
Orangemen in their habitations ; but even in courts of justice, 
as jurors, they are determined to show no justice to Catholics. "'^^ 

2iMr. Kernan, a barrister of long experience in Ulster, deposed before 
the Pari. Selecfl Committee of 1835 that Orange prisoners "frequently" 
wore the emblems of the society (ribbons, etc.) in the dock. Irish Report, 
vol. iii., Q. 7219. 

22Quoted in "M.P.'s" Hist, of Orangeism, p. 156. 



On the 30th March, 1824, on the 4th of the following May, 
and on many other occasions the conducT: of the Orange 
magistracy was brought under the notice of the House of 

ON ITS TRIAL : 1835. 

The most noteworthy witness that appeared before the 
Irish Seledt Parliamentary Committee of 1835 was undoubtedly 
Mr. James Christie. He was at the time sixty-two years old, 
and had watched the rise and progress of Orangeism ever since 
the times of the Peep-o'-Day Boys. In his examination before 
the Selecft Committee, he was asked :^^ " What is the effecft of 
those Orange processions and lodges upon the minds of the 
Catholic people with regard to the administration of justice, 
both by magistrates and juries?" Mr. Christie replied: 
" Where an Orange magistrate is sitting on the bench, the 
Catholics consider that he is partial in his decisions. . . . 
I have said before, with respecft to Orangemen being magis- 
trates, in my opinion it is not fit ; but when magistrates, men of 
respecStability and intelligence, well-informed and impartial 
magistrates, cannot be got — and I believe there are some parts of 
the cotintyy zvhere they cannot be got — -I believe that a stipendiary 
magistrate, in such districfts of the country, would be absolutely 

Q. " For what reason do you believe they could not be 
got ? " " Because there are so many completely Orangemen in 
principle, although not professed Orangemen ; they are biassed 
in their opinion against Catholics, so that justice cannot be 
obtained at their hands." In reply to a following question, 
regarding Orange magistrates, he said : "I think they are 
unsuitable to try questions which originate in party feeling, 
when they themselves belong to a party, and encourage party 

Q. " From whence do you derive your knowledge of the 
magistrates ?" " From my observation of their condudt, and 
their attending [Orange] processions when the law was not 
against it ; and from their language to the people at these 
processions ; from the feelings of the Catholics when they are 
brought before them ; and, knowing the circumstances of the 
case, a person of middling capacity can judge whether a 
magistrate is doing right or wrong." In answer to a further 
query, the witness deposed that his evidence regarding 
magistrates was derived " from observations I have made upon 
the cqnducft of the magistrates, what I have seeri, heard, and 
known. I have sometimes attended the Quarter Sessions, an d 

^^^See Minutes of Evidence, Pari. Committee of 1835, Ql> S^QS^S^Q^. 5756- 



I have seen Orange magistrates sitting, and I myself, and 
many others, were not satisfied with their decisions." Ques- 
tioned as to whether he had personally witnessed a(51:s of 
partiality, he replied in the affirmative. " I think," said he, 
" the principal thing was in the examination of witnesses; the 
credit that was given to one witness above another. Where 
two men of equally good chafa6ter were brought forward to prove 
a thing, the one a Catholic, and the other a Protestant, the 
Protestant evidence was admitted as good, and the other was 
considered as doubtful." Replying to another question, he 
said that the "feelings of irritation that exist between parties 
in Ireland are rather between Catholics and Orangemen, than 
between Catholics and Protestants." 

In his evidence before the Parliamentary Selecft Committee 
of 1835, Mr. W. Sharman Crawford, an Ulster Protestant 
Member of Parliament, justified the marked distrust which 
Catholics had in the administration of the law by Orange 
magistrates and Orange jurors.-^ The Right Hon. the Earl of 
Caledon (likewise a Protestant, and Lieutenant of Tyrone 
county) observed before the same Committee that the adminis- 
tration of justice would be very much improved if magistrates 
were free even from the suspicion of being members of any 
secret organisation.^^ Dr. Mullen gave instances of jury- 
packing.^" Mr. John Gore, a Protestant, and stipendiary 
magistrate in Ulster, when examined by theSeledt Committee, 
described the Orangemen as violent opponents of the law in 
the North ; blamed the Orange magistracy for thwarting the 
forces of the Crown in the discharge of their duty; and 
condemned their method of administering justice as leading to 
well-grounded suspicion of partiality. Mr. James Sinclair, 
another Ulster Protestant magistrate, after forty years' experi- 
ence on the bench, deposed that the Orange justices were " a 
very bad part" of the population of the North.^' From a long 
experience of the ways of the brethren, he thus describes their 
alleged readiness to assist in the maintenance of the law : " / 
never knew the Orangemen of the North of Ireland, or any portion of 
them as Orangemen, assist in the preservation of the peace, or in the 
execution of the laws; that is my opinion."^ Mr. Kernan, a 
barrister of note, with over thirty years' experience of Ulster 
courts, testified that the Orange society had injured the 

-^Minutes of Evidence , Irish Report, Q. 4374. 

25//,/^., Qq. 5530, sqq. 

'2'^Ibid., Qq. 6314, 6315, 6319, 6323, 6328. 

'^■'Ibid., Q. 5182. 

^»Ibid., Q. 5181. 


administration of justice ** very materially," and for the follow- 
ing reasons :^^ 

"In the first place," said he, "the returning ofBcer at the 
assizes and sessions, the high-sheriff generally, the sub-sheriff 
always, are both Orangemen, and I conceive that for the last 
thirty years, to the best of my recollecftion, there has been no 
jury (in Fermanagh at least) consisting of other persons than 
Orangemen. I think the administration of justice has been 
most materially injured in that respedf ; and the reason I think 
so is, because the verdicfts were generally, in cases between 
Orangemen and Catholics, contrary to the judge's charges, as 
well as contrary to the evidence. That is my impression, and 
I can state several cases in proof of the facft."^" The witness 
then mentioned several peculiarly flagrant cases of partisanship 
by Orange magistrates and jurors. We shall have occasion 
later on in the course of this chapter to refer to one or two of 
them. The following question, put to Mr. Kernan, and his 
answer thereto, refers to Orange jurors, and puts the whole 
situation in a nutshell : " What is your observation generally 
as to the administration of justice?" ^^ In all cases, civil and 
criminal, between Protestant and Catholic, justice is positively deniea 
to the Catholic. "^^ 

The English Seledl Parliamentary Committee of 1835 thus 
sums up, in its official Report, its verdidl on the tendency of the 
Orange association : 

" The obvious tendency and effecft of the Orange institution 
is to keep up an exclusive association in civil and military 
society, exciting one portion of th® people against the other ; 
to increase the rancour and animosity too often, unfortunately, 
existing between persons of different religious persuasions — to 
make the Protestant the enemy of the Catholic, and the 
Catholic the enemy of the Protestant ; by processions on 
particular days, attended with insignia of the society, to excite 
to breaches of the peace and to bloodshed ; to raise up other 
secret societies among the Catholics in their own defence, and 

"^^Ibid., Qq. 7213, sqq. (vol. iii). In a subsequent portion of his evi- 
dence, this witness shows that the exclusion of CathoUcs from the juries 
was deUberate and systematic. The extent to which the most barefaced 
jury-packing is carried on in Ireland to the present hour would seem 
incredible to anyone not acquainted with the system on which " justice" 
is administered in that country. See Mitchel, Hist, of Ireland, vol. ii., 
chap, xxii., pp. 193-194. One Crown Prosecutor, still living, acquired such 
a reputation for his systematic exclusion of Catholics from the juries, that 
he is popularly known in Ireland to this day by the sobriquet of " Peter the 
Packer." Cf. T. P. O'Connor's Parnell Movement (Ward and Downey's 
popular ed. 1887), pp. 8, 13, 14, 48. 

'^^ Minutes 0/ Evidence, Q. 7214. 

^^Ibid., Q. 7321 (p. 76). 



for their own protecSlion, against the insults of the Orangemen; 
to intercept the course of justice; and to interfere with the 
discipline of the army, thus rendering its services injurious, 
instead of useful, when required on occasions where Catholics 
and Protestants may be parties. All these evils have been 
proved by the evidence before the House in regard to Ireland, 
where the system has long existed on an extended scale, 
rendered still more prejudicial to the best interests of society 
by the patronage and prote(51:ion of so many wealthy members, 
high in office and in rank, taking an adlive part in the 
proceedings of these lodges, though in Great Britain in a more 
limited way." 

The Edinburgh Review (a Protestant magazine), of January, 
1836, sums up the evidence laid before the Parliamentary 
Committee of the previous year, in seven charges or counts of 
indidfment against the Orange society. The second, third, 
and fourth counts run as follow: 

"That it [the Orange society] has fomented hostile and 
intolerant feelings between co-secfts of the Christian religion." 

"That by its annual processions and commemorations of 
epochs of party triumph, it has exasperated and transmitted 
ancient feuds, which have led to riots, with loss of property 
and life." 

"That in consequence of the civil and religious antipathies 
thus engendered, the administration of justice in all its depart- 
ments, whether of the bench, the jury, or the witness box, has 
become tainted or suspedted." 


The notorious partisanship of Orange magistrates and 
jurors was by no means ended by the exposure, disgrace, and 
pradlical downfall of the association in 1836. In Ireland it 
continues unchecked to the present time, and has formed the 
subjecft of condemnation in Parliament, and of vigorous protest 
by public bodies, by the press, by the judicial bench, and the 
bar. In the course of this chapter reference will be made to 
the efforts of an Irish Lord Chancellor to mitigate the scandals 
of the Orange bench and jury-box. During the debate on the 
Party Processions Acft in 1870, Mr. McCarthy Downing, M.P., 
dwelt in strong terms on the "partial administration of the 
law" in Ulster, in cases to which Catholics and Orangemen 
were parties.'''^ On the 17th of the same month reference had 
been made to the same subjecft by Baron Dowse, when Attorney- 
General for Ireland.^ In his evidence before the Royal 

•''^Hansard, March 30, 1870 (vol ii of Session), p 953. 
^^Ibid; p. 1909. 

321 U 


Commission of Inquiry into the Derry Riots of 1869, Dr. 
White, the leading medical pra(5titioner of the North-West of 
Ireland, a gentleman who held the office of high-sheriff of the 
County of Derry, stated that he had several times declined to 
accept the Commission of the Peace for that city : he could 
not, he said, conscientiously take his place on the bench because 
of the strong bias displayed by the magistrates in party cases. 
During the course of what has been aptly termed "the kid- 
glove investigation" into the Derry riots of 1883, the Catholic 
body (almost three-fifths of the population of the city) issued 
a memorable document, from which I extracft the following 
words: "It is notorious that the position of the Catholics of 
Derry is little better than what it was before Emancipation. 
We have neither the protecflion of the law from outrage, nor 
hope of redress after its commission. On the other hand, an 
insolent minority has controlling influence, not alone in civic 
representation, but even in the appointment and removal of 
resident magistrates and police officers."®^ The Report of the 
Belfast Riots Commission of 1886 contains a memorial pre- 
sented to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by the Catholic in- 
habitants of that chief centre of Orange acflivity. The 
memorial in question maintained that one of the causes of the 
Belfast riots was "a well-grounded convidtion on the part of 
the Orangemen that law-breakers on their side would have 
comparative immunity from punishment when brought before 
the local justices."®^ 

Herein lay one of the most hopeless features of the regime 
of the lodges in Ulster: the paucity of Catholic magistrates, 
and the fatfl that, at pradlically any time and place, a bench 
could be packed with men whose principles and practice were 
a sufficient guarantee that the law would not be impartially 
administered. We shall see instances of this as we proceed. 
An idea of the position of Catholics in courts of justice in 
Ulster may be formed from the following facfls : 

I. Till after the period of Emancipation there was in Ire- 
land no Catholic judge. In Ulster there were scarcely any 
CathoHc magistrates; and Catholics, though competent and 
entitled by law to serve upon juries, were commonly and 
systematically excluded from them. In large portions of the 
province, even in Catholic Fermanagh and Monaghan, Orange 
juries were the rule.'^'' 

^'^The memorial in question is given in full in Appendix A to the 
Report of the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the Derry 
sectarian riots of 1883. For the condition of Catholics in Derry and Bel- 
fast, see Appendix A, infya. 

"^Appendix E to Report. 

3*Mr. Kernan deposed before the Pari. Committee of 1835, that in an 



2. " In 1833," says Lecky, " four years after Catholic 
Emancipation, there was not in Ireland a single Catholic judge 
or stipendiary magistrate."*'' 

3. As recently as 1886, out of seventeen members of the 
Belfast Corporation who were magistrates, not one was a 
Catholic ; and out of nineteen members of the Police Com- 
mittee of the Corporation who were magistrates, not one was 
a Catholic.^^ A similar, if not worse, state of things, existed 
in Derry. 

4. From the rise of Orangeism until 1814, the Orange 
yeomanry was practically the only police force in Ireland. 

5. The Irish police were established in 1814. From that 
date until 1836 they were all Protestants. In that year Under- 
Secretary Thomas Drummond insisted on the introdu(5tion of 
a considerable number of Catholics into the force.*^ Long 
previous to this date, Orange lodges had been formed among 
the Irish police.*" In Ulster the force was honeycombed with 
Orangeism. In Belfast, as late as 1857, o^t of igo members 
of the city police, only six or seven were Catholics." The 
spirit with which they discharged their duty as officers of the 
law may be estimated from the answer which one of them 
(Robert Blair) made to a question put to him by the Royal 
Commissioners who were sent to inquire into the great 
Belfast sectarian riots of 1857. The query regarded his 
sympathy with the Orange rioters : " You would not have the 
slightest sympathy for a brother Orangeman [rioter] ?" 
" Of course I would, and I will not deny it."*^ Evidence of a 

experience of Fermanagh courts, extending over nearly thirty years, he 
could recolledt only one or two Catholics having been placed on juries 
there, either in the civil court or in the Crown court ; and that during the 
same period pradically all the juries were Orange. Catholics were 
competent, but were deliberately excluded by Orange sheriffs, sub-sheriffs, 
etc. Minutes of Evidence, Third Irish Report, Qq. 7218, 7252, 7255, 7257. 
See his evidence above. For jury-packing in Fermanagh, see Hansard for 
March 14, 1870, p. 1909. See note 29, supra. 

'^"^Leaders of Public Opinion, ed. 1871, p. 260. 

^^ Report of Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Belfast Riots of 
1886, Appendix C. As a matter of fadl there was not at the time a member 
of the Corporation belonging to the proscribed creed. In their Report (p. 
14), the Commissioners recommend the appointment of more Catholic 

^^Memoir of Thomas Drummond, by J. F. McLennan, pp. 266, 274. 
Edinburgh, 1867. 

^°Third Report, Pari. Seled Committee of 1835, p. 81. 

^''■Report of Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Belfast riots of 
1857, P- 4- Cf. Reports of Royal Commissions of 1864 and 1886, Appen- 

^''Minutes of Evidence, Q. 7761. At that time the appointments to the 
city police were made by the Corporation Police Committee, not one of 
whom was a Catholic. 



strongly-marked partiality for the Sandy-row rioters was, on 
cross-examination, dragged from a typically unsatisfa(ftory 
Orange witness, a head-constable who was examined by the 
Belfast Royal Commission of 1886.^^ 

In their Report (p. 4), the Belfast Royal Commissioners of 
1857 show that many of the city police were Orangemen, and 
give what they term " startling evidence" of the partiality of 
the force for their brethren of the Sandy-row mob, A regula- 
tion has long been in existence, and is, I believe, stricftly 
enforced, forbidding Irish policemen from joining the Orange 
association. Under-Secretary Drummond was, in his day, 
inflexible in upholding his regulation that there should be no 
Orangemen in the police force. ^' Such a course was, as we 
shall see, urged upon the House of Commons by the English 
Parliamentary Committee of 1835. It was pressed upon the 
notice of a Committee of Inquiry into the police force of 
Vi(ftoria in 1882. The matter seems, however, to have ended 
there ; for, at the present time, according to the Vidlorian 
Standard, Orangeism seems to be firmly estabHshed among the 
police force of the colony. Reference to the lodge advertise- 
ments in the organ just mentioned — for instance, in its issue 
of November, 30, i8g6 — will show that members of the force 
in question duSi as Masters, Deputy Masters, etc., of lodges ; 
while the colony has furnished the perhaps unique example of 
one policeman openly a(5ting as marshal to an illegal Orange 
procession,^^ under the eyes of his superior officers, and of 
another who has time and again taken such a prominent part 
in the oratorical portion of Orange demonstrations, as to evoke 
a letter of protest in the columns of the public press. ^^ It is 
needless to state that the increased spread of the society in 
this Department of the State could not fail to gradually but 
surely undermine the confidence of the Catholic body of 
Vicfloria in the administration of justice, in as far as it depends 
upon the condudl and evidence of such violent partisans as 
Orangemen are, and are required to be by the rules and 
traditions of the order. 

^^Minntes of Evidence, 13537, sqq. This witness's evidence was so un- 
satisfadory, and in some cases so contradiftory, that the President of the 
Commission sternly reprimanded him: "You have given that portion of 
your evidence — I will not say whether the rest is true or not — in a most 
discreditable manner." Q. 13608. 

**Barry O'Brien, Thomas Drummond, p. 242. 

*5The procession was held at Prahran, Melbourne, on the occasion of 
Queen Vidloria's Diamond Jubilee. Arms (drawn swords) were borne in 
the procession, contrary to the Aft. See Argus, Age and Advocate of date. 

^^Portland Observer (Vidoria), July 26, 1894. A similar case of abuse 
of Catholics by a policeman occurred at Warrnambool some years ago. 




It would be obviously impossible to detail the varied means 
which Orange magistrates and jurors have employed, during 
the past hundred years and more, to poison the founts of justice, 
and make law an instrument of tryanny. There were, how- 
ever, three chief methods of work— some proper to magistrates, 
others to jurors — which were adted upon with such frequency 
and regularity that they may be fairly regarded as parts of a 
settled plan. These were : 

1. Refusing to receive informations or to issue warrants 
against Orange misdemeanants and criminals ; permitting 
them to abscond, and otherwise shielding them from arrest 
or molestation. 

2. Acquitting Orange misdemeanants and criminals in the 
face of clear evidence of their guilt ; against the direc5lions of 
judges, etc. ; in civil cases, giving verdicfls or entering 
judgments in favour of the Orange parties to a suit, in the 
face of evidence, law, and equity. 

3. Condemning Catholics to imprisonment and other forms 
of punishment, without trial, or without sufficient evidence of 
their guilt, or in the face of clear evidence of their innocence; 
in civil cases, giving adverse verdicls or judgments against 
the Catholic party, where evidence and law alike required a 
favourable judgment. 

Abundant reference has already been made to the com- 
parative impunity which accompanied the outrages of those 
embryo Orangemen, the Peep-o'-Day Boys, in sharp contrast 
with the savage and illegal punishments meted out to the 
Defenders ; to the manner in which the Ulster magistrates 
connived at, sympathised with, or openly encouraged the 
excesses of the early lodges ; to the tortures, burnings, mur- 
ders, committed on the unhappy people from 1797 to 1799, 
not alone without protest from the magisterial body, but too 
frequently with their positive sancftion and diredtion, and under 
the personal supervision of Crown officials, such as a former 
Earl of Enniskillen, John Claudius Beresford, and others who 
held the highest positions in the Orange association," A few 
typical instances, selecfted out of a vast number on record, are 
here given of the methods by which the rills of justice were 
fouled in more tranquil times. 


During the first ten years of the century, when Mr. Justice 
Fox was on the North-West circuit as Judge of Assize, he 
found some Catholic peasants in prison without any charge 

*''See chap, xiii., supra. 


having been specified against them. One of the vicftims had 
been kept in soUtary confinement by order of the great autocrat 
of the Irish lodges, the Earl of Enniskillen. At a later period 
the Attorney General, Mr, Blackburn, went in an official capa- 
city to Enniskillen, examined the gaol, and found therein some 
eighteen or twenty Catholics who had been imprisoned for 
three weeks without any committal, or without any cause 
whatever having been assigned for their detention. One 
William Gabbett, an Orange magistrate, was responsible for 
this outrage on the liberty of the subjecft (Q. 7265, etc.) He 
was severely reprimanded by the Attorney-General, and the 
vicftims of his tyranny were immediately set at liberty. In the 
previous year this man Gabbett had signalised himself in the 
case of the King at the prosecution of McCuster v. Alexander 
Coulter and others, by discharging a party of Orange yeomen 
who had been legally and formally committed by two other 
magistrates on a charge of capital felony. In this case, as in 
the'others, the aggrieved persons were Catholics. Comment- 
ing on Gabbett 's acftion in the matter, the Edinhuvgh Review of 
January, 1836, says : " For this he would have been removed 
from the bench, but for his connecflion with the great Orange 
chieftain, Lord Enniskillen." The Orange yeomen were after- 
wards tried and acquitted by a jury of their brethren, the mis- 
carriage of justice in this instance being so flagrant that the case 
was brought under the notice of the House of Commons.** 

During the course of a riot at Derrygonnelly (Co. 
Fermanagh), a man named Murvanogue was killed by an 
Orange yeomen named Kitson. The father of the murdered 
man went from magistrate to magistrate, seeking for some one 
to take the necessary depositions for Kitson's arrest. All 
refused. The murderer was allowed to escape in a leisurely 
way to America. At the ensuing assizes, Judge Osborne 
administered a severe reprimand to all the magistrates who 
had so flagrantly failed in the discharge of their duty. In the 
meantime others of the rioters were tried by an Orange jury. 
All the Catholics were convidled ; all the Orangemen acquitted. 
After some time the absconder, Kitson, returned home. He 
was tried, and in the face of the clearest evidence of his guilt, 
acquitted by a jury of his Orange brethren.*^ 

The disregard of Orange jurymen for their oaths finds a 
further illustration in the case of the King at the prosecution 

^^Report, Pari. Seledt Committee of 1835, Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 
7261 sqq., J ^8y sqq., Cf. Introd. to Judge Fletcher's Charge, edited by Mr 
Clancy, M P. Irish Press Agency, London, 1886. For an instance of the 
Earl of Enniskillen's method of administering justice, see chap, xiii., supra. 
pp. 297-29S. 

*'^Minutes 0/ Evidence, Pari. Committee of 1S35, Qq. 7310., sqq., p. 75. 



of McCabe v. Robinson and others, which was tried by Chief 
Justice Bushe and an Orange jury at the Omagh assizes. 
Some five Orangemen were arraigned for the murder of a 
Catholic man named McCabe, son of the prosecutor. Accord- 
ing to the evidence, the prisoners went from the lodge-room in 
Portadown — where the crime was stated to have been 
determined on — to the house of the deceased, and there and 
then, without the slightest provocation, deliberately took the 
life of young McCabe. The evidence was direcft. The judge's 
charge was so strong in favour of a verdidl of guilty that it 
amounted pracSfically to a diredliion. The jury returned a verdicft 
of not guilty. Mr. Kernan, a barrister who was present and 
took a full note of the trial, testified before the Seledf Com- 
mittee that " it was the clearest case for convidfion, and the 
Chief Justice was of the same opinion, who recommended me 
[for the sake of peace] not to publish it."^" 

In 1821, Lieutenant Hamilton deliberately halted a turbu- 
lent set of his " gallant Orange yeomanry" before the public 
house of a man named Kelly, at Dromore, and ordered them to 
fire into it. The order was promptly obeyed. The incident 
occurred on a fair-day, in the presence of great numbers of 
people. Several men were wounded, and one — Michael 
McBrian — killed, by the murderous volley. The Edinburgh 
Review for January, 1836, thus comments on the fadls of the 
case, as given in the Report of the Irish Selecfl Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835 : 

" Here is a deliberate murder, in broad daylight, in the 
presence of hundreds. The homicides scatheless, and roaming 
the country. The friends of the murdered man fleeing for 
justice to a noble lord [Lord Belmore] , who tells them he will 
meet them in a day or two. . . . The principal offender, 
[Lieutenant Hamilton] charged with murder and an attempt 
to abscond, admitted to bail by two magistrates, on mere verbal 
security. The principal [Hamilton] absconding from this bail 
— the accessories to his crime [the yeomen] tried and found 
guilty of the minor offence of manslaughter, on the plea of the 
superior guilt of the principal. That principal returns [from 
America] , and is not tried for felony, but made a ftistice of the 
Peace in the very county in which the widow of Michael McBrian 
lives under the protec5fion of the laws!" 

The reader has already seen how, at Dolly's Brae, on July 
12, 1849, a great body of Orange processionists burned eight 
houses, plundered or wrecked many others, including the 
school and the Catholic Church, wounded many people, and 

Bojbid., Qq. 7273, sqq.. 7282. 



barbarously murdered several unoffending persons, one of them 
an old woman of seventy years. The deed was done in the 
glare of day, in the midst of hundreds of witnesses, under the 
eyes of several magistrates, some of whom had personally 
seized certain of the criminals red-handed in the acSt, and who 
had at their command seventy-five police, two companies of 
infantry, and two troops of cavalry. Those who are acquainted 
with the ways of Orange magistrates in Ulster will not be 
surprised to learn that not one of the processionists was 
arrested, or in any way interfered with. The gravity of the 
scandal at length led to a debate in the House of Commons, 
and moved the Government to interfere. The Crown Solicitor, 
Mr. Ruthven, attended at the Castlewellan Petty Sessions and 
tendered informations against six of the Orange heroes of 
Dolly's Brae. Mr. Berwick was present to advise the magis- 
trates as to the law, which had been officially laid down on the 
point by the Attorney-General for Ireland. Five of the 
magistrates were willing to receive the sworn informations, 
and it seemed as if justice was at last about to take her first 
tardy step against the blood-stained criminals who had raged 
with bullet, fire, and bayonet on the heights of Magheramayo. 
But the bench was packed at Castlewellan. Lord Roden and 
other Orange justices, and their sympathisers — including two 
or three clergymen — outvoted the others, and refused to receive 
the sworn informations. Here an Orange bench raised a 
barrier over which shackled justice failed to vault. It mattered 
little in the end. Even had her course been smoothed at 
Castlewellan, it would have been barred a little farther on by 
the chevaux-de-fvise of an Orange jury-box. The noble Lord 
and Grand Master Beers were deprived of the Commission of 
the Peace. Thus was the curtain rung down on another 
tragical Ulster court-house comedy, while the blood of the 
little boy Hugh King, of unarmed and unresisting Patrick 
King, of the harmless idiot John Sweeny, and of helpless, 
wrinkled, grey-haired Anne Traynor, still stained their rude 
coffins, and clotted on their shrouds, and called to man in vain 
for vengeance.®^ 

It would be a weariness to the heart to tell the endless 
tales of Orange " justice" with which the history of Ulster 
abounds. To this day the law has never or quite inadequately, 
avenged the murders, burningSj or wreckings committed by 

siSee chap, xi., supra, pp. 222-225. A bench composed of the two 
Beers, of Lord Roden's agent, and two others committed some twenty of 
the Ribbon party for trial. The reader is referred to Mr. Berwick's official 
Report, and the other documents referring to Dolly's Brae, printed by an 
order of the House of Lords bearing date February 18, 1850. 



Orangemen at Bailieborough,^^ Carrowkeel/^ Banbridge,'^ 
Crossgar, ^^ Tanderagee,^" Maghery," Derrymacash,^^ Anna- 
hagh,*^ and many other places. In the few instances in which 
the culprits were placed on their trial, the same party spirit 
was displayed which furnishes a highly prac5tical incitement to 
crime, and makes the administration of justice in the Orange 
districts of Ulster, to this day, not so much a farce as a fearful 

The following travesty of justice will, perhaps, scarcely find 
a parallel in the whole history of the jury system. It is given 
here as an instance of the high capabilities of an Orange jury, 
It occurred in the case King v. Hall (an Orangeman), who was 
charged with having entered a .Catholic church, and stolen 
therefrom vestments, etc. The case was tried at Enniskillen, 
by Judge Fletcher and an Orange jury. The prisoner (who 
" wore an Orange ribbon on his breast") pleaded guilty. The 
judge told the jury that they had nothing to try, as the 
prisoner's admission was, in point of law, sufficient to warrant 
his convi(ftion. The jury immediately returned a verdidt of " not 
guilty.'" Well as he knew the ways of Orange juries, Judge 
Fletcher was not prepared for this. "Thank God, gentlemen," 
said he, " that is your verdicft, not mine. Gentlemen," he 
continued, " I will not treat you in this case as my highly 
esteemed departed friend. Judge Fox, treated a jury of this 
country; I will not placard your names on the session-house 
or grand jury room door ; you shall not have an opportunity 
of dragging me before Parliament ; but I will immediately 
order the sheriff to discharge you from doing any further duty 
at these assizes." The jury was accordingly discharged ; so 
was the self-convi(5ted thief. As soon as he reached the street 
"he was hoisted on the shoulders of Orangemen, and carried 
through the town of Enniskillen in triumph."^ 


The notorious manner in which members of the lodges 
have been not alone acquitted for taking part in illegal 
processions, but aided, encouraged and led therein by Orange 

5 2See chap, xi., supra, p. 221. 


^^Minutes 0/ Evidence, Pari, Committee of 1835, Qq 4313, etc. 
s^Pp. 221-222, supra. 
STPp. 42-43, supra. 
''sp. 225, supra. 
sap. 222. 

^">T\\\t A Report of the Irish Pari Committee of 1835, Minutes oj Evi 
ienie, Qq., 72 16-7231. 



magistrates, has been frequently brought under the notice of 
Parliament from 1813 to the present day.°^ In 1869, for 
instance, at the Monaghan assizes, a number of Catholics were 
sentenced to terms of imprisonmeni ranging from twelve 
months to two years, for such offences. On the other hand, 
" seventeen Orangemen, against whom similar information 
had also been laid, were not prosecuted. . . . The inform- 
ation against the Orangemen was never a(51:ed upon. Party 
processions were still carried on in the North, because 
magistrates did not like to exert against their neighbours the 
powers given them under the A(5t. . . . There had been 
a partial administration of the law by the magistrates and by 
the Government. ""^^ 

In the seventies, a number of Orange rioters were placed 
upon their trial before Lord Justice Barry at the Derry Assizes. 
The evidence pointed plainly to a conviction. The jury, how- 
ever, was composed of " good men in bad times." They 
returned a verdidt of "not guilty." "Gentlemen," said the 
Lord Justice, " that may be your verdicfl, but I venture to say 
you will not find twelve sane men who heard the evidence in 
this court to agree with you."^^ During the summer of 1886, 
Orange disturbances broke out on a large scale in the county 
of Tyrone. A Catholic policeman, named O'Neill, was subse- 
quently brought up for trial before the county-court judge. Sir 
F. Brady, and a jurv of "the right sort," charged with having 
assaulted one of the -Orange rioters. The evidence was of such 
a nature that the judge — Protestant and anti-Nationalist as 
he was — diredled the acquittal of the accused. The jury, how- 
ever, convicfted him. Whereupon Sir F. Brady remarked : " I 
will accept that as the verdi(5t of the jury. I will say no 
further. But I have not the slightest notion of punishing a 
man on such evidence. Gentlemen, you are discharged." In 
the same year, 1886, Lord Salisbury's Government took the 
Orange party under its wing, for the sake of the support"^ 

6iSee chap, x., supra. 

fi^Hansard, March 30, 1870, vol. ii. of Session, p. 953. 

s^Details of this and of the other cases mentioned in the course of 
this paragraph will be found in the files of the Derry Journal, the Freeman's 
Journal (Dublin), and the Belfast Examiner. 

6*This support included the oft-repeated threat of armed rebellion. 
The usual "100,000 Orangemen" were to "line the ditches" north of the 
Boyne, and die fighting against the forces of the Crown. Similar empty 
threats were made, in much stronger language, in 1868 and 1869, during 
the Disestablishment agitation, and at frequent intervals during the 
Emancipation agitation in the twenties. Some Nationalist newspapers 
taunted the Orangemen of Ulster, in 1854 and 1857, with their frequent 
threats of rebellion, and called on them to prove their loyalty by sending, 
not 100,000 men, but a regiment, or even a batallion to the Crimea and to 


which the lodges gave it on the then burning question of Home 
Rule.^^ It proved its friendship to the brethren by sending the 
Belfast rioters of 1886 to be tried by their confreres, the jurors 
of Tyrone. Not a single Orange juror was challenged by the 
Crown at those Omagh trials. The result was not calculated 
to increase the respedt of the Irish people for the administration 
of justice in Ulster. One or two facfts taken from the reports 
of the trials will give an insight into the ways of the Orange 
jury-box. Judge James Anthony Lawson, who tried the cases, 
was in religion a Protestant, in politics a violent anti- 
Nationalist. At the close of one of the cases he remarked of 
the jury that "it was shocking to find men influenced by 
prejudice, and paying such little attention to their oaths." On 
one of the days of the trials, three of the Orange party were 
placed in the dock on the charge of having wrecked a police- 
barrack. The accused set up an alihi as a defence. The jury 
disagreed. Next day the accused pleaded guilty, and the judge 
declared : " I considered the case against you yesterday was 
clearly proved. I look upon the evidence produced for your 
defence as entirely false." In another case two Orangemen 
were returned for the murder of a soldier of the West Surrey 
Regiment, and of a head-constable of constabulary. One of 
the prisoners was put upon his trial twice. The evidence on 
both occasions pointed unmistakably to his guilt. At the close 
of the first trial, Judge Lawson pra<5tically told the jurors that 
they had violated their oaths. "You are bound," said he, 
" to find a verdi(5t [of guilty] . And there is no question in the 
case, or doubt, at all. You are bound to take the law from me. 
The fadt has been proved before, and there is no alternative 
but the one." The jury still refused to convicft. At the 
second trial, Judge Lawson addressed the jury in even plainer 
terms. "The juror," said he, "who would violate his oath 
under circumstances such as surround this case, is a man I 
look upon as second in guilt only to the man whose case he has been 
investigating.'" Again the jury refused to convidt, and to this 
day the foul murder of two faithful servants of the Queen, 
struck down in the exercise of their duty by the hands of 
assassins, remains unavenged. The Derry Journal of March 
15, 1897, brings to hand another instance of the vagaries of a 
jury in the same court-house of Omagh which ten or eleven 
years previously had resounded to the stern denunciations of 
Judge Lawson, In this latter case, the jury acquitted a man 
who had been arraigned on a charge of a painful and shocking 

India, to fight for the Crown The Ulster Orangemen did not send so 
much as a corporal's secretary. 
*5See chap, xi , supra. 


nature. Judge Murphy, in addressing them, said : " It was a 
great triumph to the success of the criminals, who, owing to 
the condudl of a jury, got free in a case such as that, where 
there was an honest seeking of justice by poor creatures who 
were grossly outraged. The outrage committed had been as 
clearly proved by the evidence as it was possible to have it 
proved, and, if the jury had paid the slightest attention to the 
evidence, they must have seen it as clearly as they could see 
the noonday sun." Continuing, the Judge said : " Go home, 
with the proud refle(5lion of what you have achieved by the 
utter disregard of your oaths." Such conducft is a libel on the 
jury system. The condemnation of it is, unhappily, as well 
deserved in the Orange portions of Ulster to-day as it was 
when an Irish Attorney-General thus referred to the scandalous 
condudt of a packed jury who tried the Orange rioters of 1869 : 
" It was," said he, " the greatest misfortune that could befall 
the administration of the law, that religious considerations 
should enter into the selecftion of juries.""'^ 

' As already mentioned, the instances of the mal-administra- 
tion of justice here recorded are merely given as illustrations 
of some of the methods of Orange magistrates and jurors. It 
would be quite beyond the scope of this work to include in it, 
even in a highly summarised form, the lengthy list of such 
illustrative " cases" now lying before the writer. The curious 
reader who may desire fuller information on this ungracious 
topic is referred to the following sources of information*. The 
works of Plowden, Madden, Mitchel, Lecky, Barry O'Brien, 
A Vieiv of the Present State of Ireland (1797) ; Wilson's Letters and 
Narrative, and the many pamphlets published by King, 
Battersby, and others, from 1801 to 1830; various debates, 
motions, and questions in the House of Commons, in 1813, 
1814, 1820 to 1825, 1832 to 1836, 1852, i860, 1870, etc.; the 
correspondence of Camden, Cornwallis, Drummond, Lord 
Chancellor Brady, etc.; Shiel's Speeches; the Reports of the 
Royal Commissioners of 1864, 1869, 1883, and 1886; the 
special Reports regarding the affairs of the Maghery, Annahagh, 
Dolly's Brae, etc.; the Irish newspaper press from 1795 to the 
present time, passim; and finally, that monumental and 
thorough-going condemnation of the whole Orange system, 
root and branch — the voluminous Minutes of Evidence and 
Reports of the Parliamentary Seledl Committees of 1835. In 
the course of this chapter a few extracfts have been given from 
some of the authorities just referred to, testifying to the prosti- 
tution of the seat of justice, by Orangemen, to party and 

^"Hansard, March 14, 1870, p. 1885 



se<fl:arian purposes, A few further extracfts, out of many that 
might be given, will indicate one chief method which many 
thoughtful people believe would at least mitigate the worst 
features of that scandalous mockery of justice which, in the 
already quoted words of Mitchel, has " made the North of 
Ireland itself a hell for the Catholic people during many a 
year" since the days of Richard Wilson. 


"Clearing the fountain," says Junius, "is the best and 
shortest way of purifying the stream." There tiave been many 
thoughtful men during the past hundred years who have felt 
that the tainted stream of Ulster "justice" could never be 
cleansed until one chief source of its foulness — the Orange 
magistracy — should be swept away. In a debate on the liberty 
of the press in the Irish House of Commons in 1798, Mr. 
Vandeleur (a Protestant) thus referred to the Armagh Orange- 
men: "He (Mr. Vandeleur) was astonished they should be 
countenanced and supported by Ministers, though the first law- 
officer of the Crown held their excesses, and the condudt of 
the magistrates who countenanced them, so much in hatred, 
that he' declared, could they have found other men of suffi- 
cient loyalty in the country to fill their places, he would have 
removed everyone of them from the magistracy."^' 

The opinion held by Mr. Wilson, a Protestant magistrate 
of Ulster, as to the unfitness of Orangemen for the Commis- 
sion of the Peace, is abundantly evidenced in his Letters and 
Narrative, which have been already drawn upon in the course of 
this chapter. In a letter to Lord Eldon, he stated that one of 
the crying needs of the time was " that the magistracy shall 
be placed in the hands of honourable, just, and independent 

In consequence of the continued confusion and uproar 
caused by the Ulster lodges in the early twenties, Mr. Hume, 
a Protestant M.P., called upon the Government to remove 
from the Commission of the Peace those magistrates who had 
encouraged Orange processions in Ireland."^ In 1836, in con- 
sequence of the I'evelations elicited by the Parliamentary 
Committees of Inquiry, Mr. Hume and Mr. Finn moved in 
the House of Commons for the expulsion of all Orangemen 
from every department of the Civil Service. A Treasury 
minute, dated March 15, 1836, direcfted the dismissal of every 

•'■'Quoted by Plowden, Ireland from its Union, vol. i., Introd., p. 62, 

^sQuoted by "M.P.," History of Orangeism, p. 124. 
^^Parliamentary Debates, March 30, 1824. 



Civil Servant who, after the date of that order, would remain 
or become a member of the Orange society.™ 

Reference has already been made to the evidence given by 
the Quaker witness, Mr. Christie, before the Parliamentary 
Committee of 1835, as to the unfitness of Orangemen for the 
Commission of the Peace. Inreply to another question he ex- 
pressed his opinion in still more sweeping terms. The Com- 
mittee queried:" " What is your opinion of the effedl of the 
Orange lodges upon the peace of society, and the good feeling 
of the people of the country ?" " I think," replied the witness, 
"they have a tendency to keep up a bad feeling, and if any- 
thing could be devised to put them down, I think the country 
would be much quieter. It is not the poor people who go into 
the lodges [that do the most harm] ,'^ but the clergy and the 
magistrates, and the gentlemen of the country; and so far as 
Government can interfere, I think these are the people to lay 
their hands on, / think no vian should hold a Commission of the 
Peace, or any place of profit under the Crown, who is an Ovangeman.'' 
A similar conclusion was reached by the English Parliamentary 
Sele6l Committee on Orange lodges, as may be seen by the 
following extradl from their Report : " Your Committee, 
anxiously desirous of seeing the United Kingdom and the 
Colonies of the Empire freed from the banefid and unchristian in- 
fluence of the Orange societies, recommend the early attention of 
the House to that important subjedl:, zvith a view to the immedi- 
ate removal from office of all public servants who shall continue, or 
become, members of any Orange lodge, or of any other association 
bound together in a similar manner." 

The warning voice of the British Parliament seems to have 
fallen on unheeding ears in at least one colony of the Australian 
group. In Vidloria, Orangeism seems to have found its way 
into almost every Department of the Civil Service. Reference 
to the advertising columns of the Vi6torian Standard of Novem- 
ber 30, 1896, and other dates, shows that the Police, Railways, 
Post Office, and Defence Departments furnish a quota of 
officers to the society, while some lodges, if not composed 
exclusively of public servants, are at least guided chiefly or 
altogether by them. The same lodge organ urges the still 
further extension of the association among State employes, 

'"The minute is quoted near the end of chapter xiv., infra. 

''iThe whole of this part of Mr. Christie's evidence is well worth 
perusal. Minutes of Evidence, Qq. 5559, sqq., 5689 ; cf. Q. 5677. 

''■^In the previous question, the witness states that " the lower class 
of the society" are but the dupes of the "higher classes," who, for their 
own advantage, urge them on to breaches of the law, violence, etc., and 
thus do the greater harm. Cf. chap, vii., supra, p. 140. 



while from the Orange press and platform comes the cry for 
the exclusion of Catholics from offices of emolument in the 
service of their country.''^ The reader may judge for himself 
if, and how far, such language was connecfted with the fadts 
elicited by the Melbourne Post Office Inquiry Board regarding 
the case of James Sullivan.'^ For some unexplained reason, 
the incident has never, to this hour, been cleared up. As it 
stands, the whole circumstances surrounding it are highly 
calculated to produce a feeling of uneasiness among Catholics 
as regards the possible results of the spread of Orangeism in 
the public Departments of the colony. 


The Anglican Bishop of Ballarat, Dr. Thornton, spoke as 
follows at an Orange demonstration in that city in July, 1888. 
His words are noteworthy as coming from a sympathiser of the 
Orange association. " I should be sorry," said he, " tosuppose 
that Vidtorian Orangeism had a word to say in defence of the 
disorder and violence which led to the suppression of the Irish 
lodge by Parliament in 1813, or the unreliability of Orange- 
men in courts of justice in Ireland, which made the Lord 
Chancellor for years refuse to make any Orangeman a 
magistrate."^* He referred to the signal blow which was 
struck at the notorious partisanship of the Orange bench in 
1857. Lord Carlisle was Viceroy; Mr. Maziere Brady, Lord 
Chancellor. English Orangeism had been blotted out by the 
great exposure of 1835- 1836. The Irish society still clung 
desperately to life, and continued to be a power in the North, 
although deprived of much of its forniier physical strength of 
numbers, and shorn of all show of outward respecftability. Its 
rules were remodelled in 1845. Four years later the brethren 
added a new chapter of blood to their history by the massacre 
of Dolly's Brae, For ten years from that date, every twelfth 
of July was marked with turbulence and outrage in the Orarige 
centres of the North — culminating in the state of civil war 
which devastated Belfast in 1557. In the volcanic period of out- 
rage which opened at Dolly's Brae, Orange magistrates, and, 
let it be added. Orange clergymen, played a prominent and by 
no means creditable part. These circumstances will explain 
the issue of the following order of the Lord Chancellor, which 
Orangemen of the present day would wish to see buried as deep 

'^^'See chapter viii., supra, pp. 162-163. 

■"^See Preface to the first edition, supra. 

''^Victorian Standard, August 1888, p. 8, first col. The speaker con- 
tinues thus : " But I wish I saw among your laws one which decreed the 
immediate expulsion of any mrembers proved guilty of insulting afls towards 
opponents, or of boycotting in any shape or form." 



as the chariots of King Pharaoh. The portion of the document 
which is here quoted was pubhshed in the Northern Whig, 
in Ocftober, 1857 : 

" To the Editor of the Northern Whig. 
" Sir, — The enclosed extracfl from a letter which I have 
received from the Lord Chancellor, which I have his lordship's 
permission to make public, is of sufficient moment to warrant 
my asking you to give it a place in your columns. 
" I am, sir, your obedient servant, 
" Londonderry, 

*' Lieutenant, County Down. 
" Newtownstewart, Ocftober 6, 1857." 

The published extradt from the Lord Chancellor's letter 
runs as follows : 

"In reference, generally, to appointments to the Commis- 
sion of the Peace for the County of Down and some other 
counties in the North of Ireland, I feel obliged, by recent 
events, to introduce conditions which seem to me imperatively 
called for, with the view to the maintenance of public tran- 

" Your lordship is, no doubt, well aware of the success of 
turbulence and riotous outrage which have so long prevailed 
in the town of Belfast. Whatever party may have been to 
blame for the acfts which more immediately led to these 
disgraceful tumults, it is very manifest that they have sprung from 
party feeling, excited on the recurrence of certain anniversaries which 
for years have been made the occasion of irritating demonstrations, too 
often attended by violations of the public peace, and dangerous, 
and sometimes fatal, party conflicfts. The Orange society is 
mainly instrumental in keeping up this excitement ; and, notwith- 
standing the proceedings respecfting the association which are 
now matter of history,™ and in consequence of which it was sup- 
posed that it would have been finally dissolved, it still appears 
to remain an extensively organised body, with but some 
changes of system and rules, under which it is alleged to be 
secure from a legal prosecution. However that may be, it is 
manifest that the existence of this society, and the condu(51: of 
many of those who belong to it, tend to keep up, through large 
districfts of the North, a spirit of bitter and fadlious hostility 
among large classes of her Majesty's subjecfls, and to provoke 
violent animosity and aggression. It is impossible to rightly 
regard any association such as this as one which ought to receive 
countenance from any in authority zvho are responsible for the preserva- 
tion of the peace ; and however some individuals of rank and 

'^The Parliamentary Inquiry of 1835 on Orange lodges. 



station, who hold her Majesty's commission," may think they 
can reconcile the obligations of that office with the continuing 
in membership with the Orange society, it does appear to me 
that the interest of the public peace, at least in the North of 
Ireland, now requires that no such encotirageinent should he given 
to this society by the appointment of any gentleman to the Commission 
who is, or intends to become, a member of it. 

" Intending the rule to be of general application, I think it 
right to ask from every gentleman the assurance that he is not, 
nor will, while he owns the Commission of the Peace, become a member 
of the Orange society. I think it right to inform your lordship 
that, in expressing the foregoing opinions and determination, I 
do so ivith the entire concurrence of his Excellency the Lord 

But the order of Lord Chancellor Brady, the voice of 
Parliament and of public opinion, the protests of judges and 
barristers, even the suppression of the Orange society — (in 
Ireland in 1825, in England in 1836) — all failed to produce 
any appreciable efFedl: on the record of judicial partiality 
perpetrated in the interests of the lodges. In the present 
instance Lord Chancellor Maziere Brady's order was allowed 
to remain without effetft, because a weak Government pre- 
ferred the interests of party to the claims of justice.'** The 

'^''The Lord Chancellor evidently refers to the Verners, Blackers. 
Enniskillens, and other Orange leaders who were officers of militia. 

■^^A debate took place in the House of Lords, March 15, 1858, on the 
Orange society and the Irish magistracy, with respedt to Lord Chancellor 
Brady's letter. The Earl of Derby, while admitting that the Lord Lieu- 
tenant had devoted much attention to the subjedl, and that there was no